Page 1

OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SASCOC is South Africa’s national multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation,Endorsed by presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World www.insidesportafrica.com Price: R4,00Youth Nationwide Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games.

May Edition – 2013

Doc and Zane to face Drogba PAGE 6

NEDBANK REVIEW DISABLED PARTNERSHIP By Lizette Khan Over the past 20 years, sport for the physically disabled in South Africa has become synonymous with one institution - Nedbank. The organisation formerly started its association with the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, (SASAPD), in the early 1990’s after South Africa was readmitted to international sporting participation. Since then it has been a driving force in not only supporting various sporting events, such as the National Championships for the Physically Disabled but also in putting together initiatives that have supported various athletes

Ace for Wheelchair tennis PAGE 20

as ambassadors for sport for the physically disabled. Heading to London for the 2012 Olympic Games, the organisation partnered with the SASAPD and put together a four plan with various themes and goals for the athlete’s in preparation for the global showpiece. However, with just three years to Rio de Janeiro, it seems that there are no such plans afoot this time around with the organisation extending its sponsorship for a single year in 2013 only. “Where we are at the moment with the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled, we would normally go in

● Continued on page 4

Makabu destined for greatness PAGE 18


Page 2 South Africa is a sporting nation and has over the years produced outstanding sporting heroes. Jake Tuli, Kalamazoo Mokone, Willie Toweel, Terror Mathebula, Gerrie Coetzee, Mathews Motswarateu, Zola Budd Pieterse, Steven Pienaar, Hashim Amla, Naas Botha, you name them, we produced them in abundance. Sport has been used in the past as a vehicle to force change. Organizations like SACOS orchestrated sporting boycotts using the slogan “No Normal Sport in an abnormal society,” and forced FIFA, Commonwealth movement as well as IAAF and many others to ostracize South African sport. But after 1994, sport has again been at the forefront of a campaign to build a new society. In fact, Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula stresses that sport is

EDITORIAL

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

What has gone wrong with SA sport? a powerful medium to unite our people and sporting organizations across the spectrum should be encouraged to use sport towards achieving social cohesion. That been the case, it breaks my heart to see our sporting structures crumbling due to allegations of mismanagement or maladministration and some of them engaged in a verbal sparring with the SA Sports Confed-

Chief Editor Thomas Kwenaite

eration and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) at a time when they should be preparing for upcoming global tournaments. I have seen the bitter struggle for the soul of cricket destroying a sport that has produced a team now rated top of the pops in one day cricket. The Proteas are now considered even far superior than New Zealand, India or Pakistan, but the sport is still bleeding from the gaping wounds inflicted by

the Gerald Majola saga. And as we speak, Athletic South Africa has been disbanded and attorney Zola Majavu installed to try and bring sanity to the sport. An ASA board elected less than six months ago just cannot get along with each other for the purpose of representing the aspirations of athletes and they have spent more time at each other’s throats than putting together projects to improve the sport. The administrators have hogged the headline more than the athletes themselves. We hardly hear of the progress of Khotso Mokoena, Caster Semenya or Simon Mogakwe. Instead the administrators have been accused of jostling for power and allegations abound of how they approved lavish payments for themselves. Football is no better. Allegations abound of the misuse of World Cup 2010 Legacy funds. The Sport Minister is rattling sabers and calling for a Judicial Commission to investigate football following allegations that four of the pre 2010 World Cup friendly matches played by Bafana Bafana were fixed! The South African Football Association pours cold water on the allegations and claims

they were the ones who blew the whistle in the first place. They demand the government to help them uncover who were the people that fixed the said matches. Mbalula wants the investigation to throw open the SAFA ledger books. FIFA is threatening to ban South Africa and throwing Bafana Bafana out of the 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifiers as well as Orlando Pirates out of the African Champions League and SuperSport United out of the Confederation Cup, for what they claim is interference from the government. SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani says that the Hawks, South African version of the American FBI, have obtained a so-called secret dossier and are investigating its source of origin and whether the allegations contained in that dossier have any substance and that we should give the Hawks a chance to complete their investigations. In the meantime, there is a lot of uncertainty. And following the dizzy heights we climbed after hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we seem to have gone back to the good ‘ol days of back stabbing and in-fighting among ourselves, I sit down and ask myself what has gone wrong?

Chief Editor: Thomas Kwenaite Editor: Carol Tshabalala Distribution: Allied Publishing (Pty) Ltd Publishing: Sebase Media & Telecomms (Pty) Ltd Printing: Paarlcoldset Subscriptions: (012) 664 6781 Advertising: (012) 664 5181 Editorial: (012) 664 5181 Physical Address 249 Basden Avenue, Crystal Park One Block O, Lyttelton Manor, Centurion, 0157 Gauteng, South Africa Please send your letters and comments to: email: editor@insidesportafrica.com Fax: (012) 664 7920

Warning

Readers are advised to carefully scrutinise all advertisements.

InsideSportAfrica cannot be held liable for any transactions made on adverts.

www.insidesportafrica.com


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

Page 3

Horseracing

Absa Premiership End of Season Prize Money The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has released the end of the season prize money for the Absa Premiership. Below is the breakdown:

Position

Prize Money (Rands)

Day

Date

Grade Stake

Race Name

Distance Club

SATURDAY

04 MAY 2013

G2

500,000

KRA Guineas

1600

Greyville

SATURDAY

04 MAY 2013

G2

350,000

KRA Fillies Guineas

1600

Greyville

SATURDAY

04 MAY 2013

G2

350,000

Drill Hall Stakes

1400

Greyville

SUNDAY

05 MAY 2013

G3

0

FBC Re Derby

2400

Borrowdale

SUNDAY

05 MAY 2013

G3

138,000

Cape Nursery

1200

Kenilworth

SUNDAY

05 MAY 2013

G3

138,000

Kenilworth Fillies Nursery

1200

Kenilworth

1st

10 000 000.00

2nd

5 000 000.00

3rd

3 000 000.00

4th

2 000 000.00

5th

1 500 000.00

SUNDAY

G3

350,000

Arlington

1 300 000.00

East Cape Derby

2400

6th

12 MAY 2013

SUNDAY

0

Castle Tankard

2000

Borrowdale

1 100 000.00

19 MAY 2013

G3

7th 8th

1 000 000.00

WEDNESDAY

G2

350,000

Greyville

750 000.00

Betting World 1900

1900

9th

22 MAY 2013

SATURDAY

G1

600,000

Scottsville

700 000.00

11th

650 000.00

Golden Horse Casino Sprint

1200

10th

25 MAY 2013

12th

600 000.00

SATURDAY

G1

500,000

Scottsville

550 000.00

Alan Robertson Championship

1200

13th

25 MAY 2013

14th

500 000.00

SATURDAY

G1

500,000

Scottsville

450 000.00

SA Fillies Sprint

1200

15th

25 MAY 2013

16th

400 000.00

SATURDAY

25 MAY 2013

G1

500,000

Tsogo Sun Medallion

1200

Scottsville

SUNDAY

26 MAY 2013

G3

184,000

Tekkie Town Winter Classic

1800

Kenilworth

Monthly Service Fee (Grant) 2012/13 Season  Absa Premiership: R1, 5 Million  National First Division (NFD): R380 000

Horseracing

Race information courtesy of tabonline.co.za for further details on the races please visit their website Borrowdale - 04 May 2013

Kenilworth - 01 May 2013

Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

1

Noms

00:00

2000

500000

Ctan

Castle Tankard (Grade 1)

Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

2

Noms

00:00

1000

75000

Juvc

Tba Sales Stakes

1

K553

13:10

1200

58000

Mjpf

Ap Jones Maiden Juvenile Plate (Fillies)

3

Noms

00:00

1100

75000

Mr90

Merit Rated 90 Handicap

2

K554

13:45

1400

58000

Mjpm

Hotter Shoes Maiden Juvenile Plate

4

Noms

00:00

1600

75000

Mr75

Merit Rated 75 Handicap

3

K555

14:20

1400

58000

Mdnf

Martin Brand Maiden Plate (F & M)

5

Noms

00:00

2200

75000

Mr70

Merit Rated 70 Handicap

4

K556

14:55

1400

62000

Fm76

Dave Mcmeeking Memorial Fm 76 Handicap

6

Noms

00:00

1000

75000

Mr66

Merit Rated 66 Handicap

(F & M)

7

Noms

00:00

1800

75000

Mdnm

Maiden Plate

5

K557

15:35

2000

60000

Mr72

Euroshelf Mr 72 Handicap

Kenilworth - 05 May 2013

6

K558

16:10

1200

60000

Mr74

Ap Jones Mr 74 Handicap

Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

7

K559

16:45

1000

52000

Mr70

Hotter Shoes Mr 70 Handicap

1

Noms

00:00

1200

58000

Mdwm

Wp Groom’S School Trust Work Riders Winter

8

K560

17:20

1000

58000

Mdnm

Claremont Cricket Club Maiden Plate

Vaal - 02 May 2013

Challenge 2 2

Noms

00:00

1200

58000

Mjpm

Pkf Maiden Juvenile Plate

Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

3

Noms

00:00

2000

58000

Mdnm

Shopfit National Maiden Plate

1

V1013

11:40

1200

80000

Mjpf

Maiden Juvenile Plate (Fillies) Lunch Bookings

4

Noms

00:00

1200

88000

Pinn

Pinnacle Stakes Powered By Absa

For Der

5

Noms

00:00

1400

64000

Mr86

Rcs Mr 86 Handicap

Maiden Juvenile Plate Kiddies Entertainment

6

Noms

00:00

2500

80000

Mr96

Old Mutual Mr 96 Handicap

7

Noms

00:00

1400

125000

3fst

Rtt Sweet Chestnut Stakes (Listed)

8

Noms

00:00

1600

200000

Wgui

Tekkie Town Winter Guineas (Grade 3)

9

Noms

00:00

1600

58000

Mdnm

Secure-A-Tag Maiden Plate

2

V1014

12:15

1200

80000

Mjpm

At Fairvie 3

V1015

12:50

1400

80000

Mdnm

Maiden Plate Mother’S Day At Fairview Sunday 12 May

4

V1016

13:25

1400

80000

Mdnf

Maiden Plate (F & M) Family Entertainment At

5

V1017

14:00

1600

94000

Mr85

Soccer 6 Mr 85 Divided Handicap

6

V1018

14:35

1600

70000

Mr71

Mr 71 Divided Handicap Mother’S Day Turf-

Fairview

fontein 11 May 7

V1019

15:10

1600

82000

Fm76

Racing Association Fm 76 Handicap (F & M)

8

V1020

15:45

1600

82000

Fm76

Computaform Express Fm 76 Handicap (F & M)

9

V1021

16:25

1200

64000

Mr68

Rugby 5 Mr 68 Handicap

10

V1022

17:05

1200

64000

Mr68

Mr 68 Handicap Thank You For Your Patronage

Fairview - 03 May 2013 Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

1

Noms

00:00

1200

53000

Mjpm

Maiden Juvenile Plate

2

Noms

00:00

1200

53000

Mdnf

Maiden Plate (F & M)

3

Noms

00:00

1600

53000

Mdnf

Maiden Plate (F & M)

4

Noms

00:00

1400

68000

Mr90

Mr 90 Divided Handicap

5

Noms

00:00

1400

55000

Mr73

Mr 73 Divided Handicap

6

Noms

00:00

1800

75000

Oakp

Oaks Plate

7

Noms

00:00

1200

68000

Of90

Open Fm 90 Handicap (F & M)

8

Noms

00:00

1000

55000

Mr70

Mr 70 Handicap

Race information courtesy of sahorseracing.co.za for further details on the races please visit their website

Fairview - 10 May 2013 Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

1

Noms

00:00

1200

53000

Mjrm

Maiden Juvenile Plate

2

Noms

00:00

1200

53000

Mdrm

Maiden Plate

3

Noms

00:00

1600

53000

Mdrm

Maiden Plate

4

Noms

00:00

2400

56000

Mr74

Mr 74 Handicap

5

Noms

00:00

1200

68000

Mr90

Mr 90 Divided Handicap

6

Noms

00:00

1200

55000

Mr76

Mr 76 Divided Handicap

7

Noms

00:00

1200

130000

Dahl

Dahlia Plate (Listed)

8

Noms

00:00

1200

55000

Novf

Novice Plate (F & M)

Fairview - 12 May 2013 Race

Vref

Time

Dist

Stake

Type

Race Name

1

Noms

00:00

1000

53000

Mjrm

Maiden Juvenile Plate

2

Noms

00:00

1400

53000

Mdrm

Maiden Plate

3

Noms

00:00

1400

68000

Divf

Divided Handicap (F & M)

4

Noms

00:00

1400

55000

Divf

Divided Handicap (F & M)

5

Noms

00:00

1800

84000

M104

Mr 104 Handicap

6

Noms

00:00

2000

68000

Divf

Divided Handicap (F & M)

7

Noms

00:00

2000

55000

Divf

Divided Handicap (F & M)

8

Noms

00:00

2400

350000

Derb

East Cape Derby (Grade 3) Powered By Recall Security

9

Noms

00:00

1600

55000

Mr70

Mr 70 Handicap


Page 4

SPONSORSHIP

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

NEDBANK REVIEW DISABLED PARTNERSHIP on a four year partnership which would also link into our continued association with the Paralympic games,” said Nedbank Head of Sponsorship Andy Scott. The Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled held on the 24-27 March in Tshwane was according to Scott a measuring stick for the future. “In conjunction with SASAPD we are looking at this particular championship as a way to judge the way forward, look at what has been learned and then I am quitesure that they will then approach us once they have reconstituted their organisation.” SASAPD President Isaac Shadung admits that the negotiations are still on going and as an organisation the SASAPD is preparing

to meet with Nedbank, “We are still in negotiations with Nedbank,” he said. “At the moment we are busy putting reports together which will be presented somewhere between September and October, that’s when they’ll come up with a decision whether they will be carrying us next year.” Nedbank is currently the sole sponsor of the SASAPD and according to Shadung a decision by them not to continue with their relationship would be a blow. “It will definitely be a drawback, we will have to go back and sit down and seewhat’s next in terms of approaching any other institution which could help us. But we really are pleading that after 20 years of sponsorship with Nedbank,which is to us more like a marriage than just a donation,

● Continued from page 1

We have every faith that there will be continuity, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be we can continue with Nedbank.” In these turbulent economic times it is only natural for organisations to evaluate where they spend their money and decide whether they have received maximum return on investment and Mr Shadung is confident that they have held up their end of the bargain. “I think we have also done our best to give Nedbank a return on investment by way of hosting championships where the media

Paralympic Team farewell Banquet before the kickoff of the paralympics in London.

and the public are made aware of the contribution made by Nedbank,” a sentiment which seems to a certain degree to be shared by Scott. “We have every faith that there will be continuity, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be,” although he was quick to add. For the time being 2013 will be a wonderful opportunity for them, (SASAPD), to re-evaluate, take stock and obviously as Nedbank is a long standing partner that we

are, we’d like to believe that once that’s all been done, we’d have a look at it and then reassess our own situation and take it from there.” The South African Paralympic team has historically been a source of great pride and hope for the South African public and it is hoped that they will continue to enjoy the financial support they require to keep on delivering the kind of heroic performances they have demonstrated in the past. Cognisance has to be taken of the tough financial climate world wide that organisations operate in today, but it is hoped that by working together Nedbank and the SASAPD can put together a plan that will benefit both parties and see these inspiring athletes continue to succeed on the world stage.

Picture by WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SA Sports Picture Agency

ADVERTISE in

Contact: Thato Matseke (012) 664 5181 thato@insidesportsafrica.com


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

Page 5

BENONI, SOUTH AFRICA. 19 April 2013. Golden Lions Gymnastics gymnasts in action in a competition at Benoni Acro Club. Copyright picture by WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA


Page 6

Soccer

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

DOC AND ZANE TO FACE DROGBA By Thomas Kwenaite

Stand by for a clash of superlative proportion between reigning African Footballer of the Year and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure against former South African pin-up star Doctor Khumalo in Abidjan! Toure and Didier Drogba have requested the Cote d’Ivoire Master Football Association to include them as guests in a squad that will face the South African 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winners in an international friendly in Abidjan on July 7. In what is considered a major breakthrough in international football for the South Africans at a time when the mother body the South African Football Association was going through a difficult credibility period, the golden generation continues to make friends and influence people. The people from Ivory Coast has specifically requested the likes of Lucas Radebe, Doctor Khumalo, Shaun Bartlett and Mark Fish to mention just a few, to honor them with their presence for this game aimed at cementing relations between the two countries. The South African Football Association (SAFA) is engaged in an unsavory war talk with the SA Sports and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as well as the office of the Minister of Sport, but the Abidjan trip indicates that not all is doom and gloom within local football. “It is the first time that the 1996 AFCON winning squad has received a prestigious invitation like this,” said Dewhard Mupenda who was instrumental in arranging the game which he said was the first of many that would be following this one. “The Cameroon Masters who include Roger Milla, Cyril Makanaky, Emile Mbou, Stephen Tataw, Omam and Kana Biyick, Rigobert Song, Patrick Mboma among others, also wants to play against Doctor Khumalo, Mark Fish and Shoes Moshoeu. “There are also invitations from Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe among others. But first thing first and we have put final touches into the game against Cote d’Ivoire and we will make an official announcement at the appropriate time.” Danny Jordaan, the SAFA vice President, was aware of the invitation and congratulated the 1996 about their invitation and encouraged the team to go out

Yaya Toure (standing top left) and Didier Drogba (holding pendant front) have requested organisers to make guest apperances.

Former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe to lead SA Masters against their Ivory Coast opponents on July 7 in Abijan. and represent the country with honor and pride. Jacob Mathate, the President of the SA Masters, was until recently engaged in informing the SA International Relations as well as the mother body to put them in the picture and acquire the necessary green light. “We would be delighted to host the SA 1996 squad,” said the President of the Namibia FA John Muinjo as they prepare to host the 2014 African Women Championship. “We still owe them big time following that humiliating 4-1

defeat they handed us at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Burkina Faso and it would be a memorable affair to play the same squads again in Windhoek.” But while the ’96 winning squad is flooded with invitations, the situation at home is getting desperate with the SA Sports and Olympic Committee is engaged in a war-talk with SAFA. SASCOC is spearheading a probe into the financial affairs of the football organization and allege there was widespread maladministration that warrants

a deeper probe to ascertain if the SAFA finances are in a healthy state of mind or not. SASCOC is demanding a full blown investigation of the SAFA finances following a mysterious document that was handed to the sports body alleging corruption within the football organization as well as the misuse of the World Cup 2010 Legacy Trust Funds. The crack police investigative unit the Hawks took up the matter and are currently probing the allegations and last week, Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula traveled with SAFA boss Kirsten Nematandani to Zurich to inform FIFA they were concerned about the allegations against SAFA which requires a full blown investigation. SAFA however, insists on an independent enquiry that would concentrate on the alleged four fixed matches prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa and appear on a collision course with Mbalula who is demanding a no holds barred investigation. But amid all the gloom and doom, there is a silver lining as

the Cote d’Ivoire invitation also means some of the country’s businessmen could also accompany the squad to Abidjan to open up business opportunities in the West African country. And with Doctor Khumalo, Shoes Moshoeu and Zane Moosa combining so beautifully to destroy the African PSL Stars 3-1 in Durban recently, the technical team will rely on the trio to bring glory to the South Africans in Abidjan on July 7. The squad, then coached by 1996 Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Clive Barber, has also played against a touring German Masters team and handed them a 2-0 beating as main curtain raisers to a league game between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. The squad will attend a banquet dinner at the Michaelangelo hotel on the eve of their departure on July 5 and have been invited to State House for yet another dinner after their match by President Allasane Ouatarra after their July 7 match.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

Soccer

10 Years after Marc Vivien Foe died

Page 7

Samuel Eto’o and Rigobert Song holding a giant poster of the late Marc Vivien Foe during the 2003 FIFA Confederation Cup tournament.

A year ago, the world watched in horror, transfixed to their television screens as DR Congo born Bolton Wanderers player Fabric Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur at the White Hart Lane. Referee Howard Webb, reading the situation to the tee and aware of the trauma caused by Muamba’s harrowing incident, called off the match which at the time was tied at 1-1. Paramedics tried to revive the player and after 41 minutes, rushed him to hospital. Mercifully Muamba pulled through after he was certified dead for 78 minutes. He has made a full, if not miraculous recovery, but doctors have advised him to stop playing football and at only 24 years old, he is officially retired. Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu was on top of the world with his mesmerizing skills which forced Inter Milan to offer him a contract soon after the Atlanta Olympic Games where the Nigerians led by Jay Jay Okocha won gold. But soon after, his career almost screeched to a halt based on a medical tragedy. He was diagnosed with a heart defect that threatened to cut short an amazing career that only a gifted talented, focused and hardworking individual could amass. But with his firm faith in God,

he underwent the heart surgery successfully in Cleveland Hospital, Ohio, USA and has since returned to play football professionally, winning countless accolades in the process including twice being African Footballer of the Year. However, as we inch closer to the 10th anniversary of the death of Cameroonian Marc Vivien Foe, it is perhaps appropriate to look back at the growing list of professional football players suffering from cardiac arrest. Kanu might have opened the Kanu Foundation to help underprivileged children to receive treatment for the debilitating disease, but cardiac arrest is increasingly affecting more and more players across the world. It is perhaps for this reason that twice African champions TP Mazembe has invested in sophisticated equipment where their players undergo rigorous checking every six months to check if they do not have any heart problems. Little wonder Mazembe hardly

ever suffers from a situation where their casualty ward is over populated. Their Tunisian-born head of their Medical department – Dr Tahir Messaoud – has influenced club owner Governor Moise Katumbi Chapwe to invest in medical equipment from Belgium. “We have installed medical kit that includes an electrical cardioverter shock machine with an external defibrillator which is able to reverse sudden cardiac arrest,” said Dr Messaoud. “The equipment also includes a medical life emergency kit containing various key items considered essential for life support and other treats faced by professional athletes,” added Dr Messaud. We were exposed to cardiac arrest on that fateful June 26 day 10 years ago when Vivien Foe, a combative, commanding midfielder for Cameroon, suddenly collapsed in the center circle of Stade de Gerland during the FIFA Confederation Cup tournament in France. Foe, who was only 28-years-

old at the time, was stretchered off after attempts to resuscitate him failed. He continued to receive mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen off the field. Medics spent 45 minutes attempting to save his life and although he was still alive after being taken to the Gerland’s medical center, he died shortly afterwards. Foe actually belonged to Lyon, the club who play at the Gerland, but had spent the previous season in England on loan at Manchester City, playing 35 league games. A first autopsy did not determine an exact cause of death, but a second autopsy concluded that Foe died from natural causes. His death was caused by a heart condition. “He was suffering from a cardiomyopathy hypertrophia [abnormally enlarged] left ventricle, something that is almost untraceable without carrying out an extensive examination”, Public prosecutor Xavier Richaud said. Richaud also suggested that

By Thomas Kwenaite

We were exposed to cardiac arrest on that fateful June 26 day 10 years ago when Vivien Foe, a combative, commanding midfielder for Cameroon, suddenly collapsed in the center circle of Stade de Gerland during the FIFA Confederation Cup tournament in France.

intense activity stimulated the problem. “There was a degeneration which triggered a major reaction in the heart”, he added. Foe was regarded as something of a gentle giant, with Harry Redknapp, who brought him to West Ham in 1999, quoted in the Guardian: “I don’t think he ever made an enemy in his life”. Known for his generosity off the pitch, Foe funded a soccer academy for boys and girls in Yaounde. “He gave it all willingly,” Walter Gagg, FIFA’s technical director, told the Daily Telegraph, “to family, friends and everyone else who asked. It is so ironic that, at the crucial moment, his heart was not strong enough to save him, because Marc-Vivien Foe had a great heart. He was a wonderful man”. Foe’s widow suggested that doctors should have stopped the midfielder playing because he had been suffering from dysentery. Since Foe’s death, 36 more professional players have succumbed from heart related problems. The list includes former Al Ahly’s Mohamed Abdelwaha, former Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Nigerian Chase Nsofwa, Congolese Guy Tchingoma, Indurance Idahor, Bartholomew Opoku, Liberian Ambrose Wleh and Chadian Lokissimbaye Loko.


SOCCER

Page 8

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Banyana keep the ball rolling in Africa The Banyana Banyana squad that represented the country at the London Olympic games.

By Carol Tshabalala After the invaluable experience garnered from participating in the London 2012 Olympic Games, South Africa’s national women’s football team were looking forward to continuing the positive momentum with their first outing for 2013 coming in the form of a competition they knew very well the Cyprus Cup. Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza identified the Cyprus Cup as the best platform to introduce new players and to blood them in terms of the demands of international football and to see how they would cope with the demands of football at that level. Mkhonza had identified a few players prior to departure from the Sasol League. And he took with him five new players that

were included in the squad he selected for the trip to Cyprus including 19-year-old Bloemfontein Celtic striker, Shiwe Nogwanya and 22-year-old Zanele Chiya all looking to make an impression. “There were people who criticized me for leaving behind a few experienced players for this tournament,” said Mkhonza. “However, few people bothered to enquire why we were leaving behind key players to go and take part in such an important tournament. “The rationale behind this thinking was to afford these players an opportunity to gain experience. We plan to build a bigger pool of players. We do not want to find ourselves in a desperate situation where two key players suffer from injuries and the whole squad simply crumbles because we do not have enough

depth.” Though the ladies left with high spirits and hope in their hearts, the competition in Cyprus proved to be very tough and Banyana only

The rationale behind this thinking was to afford these players an opportunity to gain experience. managed an eleventh place finish after beating Northern Ireland 5-4 through penalties in their final match. That win did nothing to improve

their tenth place finish from last year’s competition, which was their main aim. Still the team focused on the many positives from the outing such as the promising display from many of the youngsters. Another feather in the cap was to see the team improving their ranking in the latest FIFA rankings which saw them move up three places, one step above the 2012 African Women’s Champions Equatorial Guinea in Africa, stepping stones to build on for future competitions. Additional players will be brought into the fold as the technical team engages in more scouting to recruit more talent to ensure we build an even bigger pool of players that would ensure those that are selected do not rest on their laurels.

Another key focal point moving forward will be to play more games against quality opposition and ensuring that the new faces seamlessly get assimilate into the squad with the main aim now qualification for the African Women’s Championship in Namibia next year - the key to securing one of the three spots availed to Africa for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World cup in Canada. South Africa has never won the AWC even through the same amount of participation as Nigeria, crowned eight times and Equatorial Guinea who have won it twice before. Banyana have made the finals on four occasions and are hoping that their history in the competition will add to their confidence as they seek to once again fight for ultimate glory in Africa.

BOOKS REVIEW

Brukner & Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine Author: Peter Brukner; Karim Khan

Brukner and Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine is the bible of sports medicine. The text explores all aspects of diagnosis and management of sports-related injuries and physical activity such as the fundamental principles of sports medicine, diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries, enhancement of sports performance and dealing with special groups of participants. Each chapter has been comprehensively reviewed and updated and there are 12 new chapters

The text explores all aspects of diagnosis and management of sportsrelated injuries which cover topics such as military medicine, prevention of sudden cardiac death and the integration of evidence into clinical practice. The contributing authors are renowned experts in their field and are based all around the world. The fourth edition is enhanced by a new

companion website featuring Clinical Sports Medicine Master classes Online. Readers will gain access to this secure site via a pincode included with the book. The site will include video clips of clinical examinations, interviews with leading experts and will be updated regularly.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

SOCCER

Page 9

EAST AFRICA SHOWING COSAFA THE WAY By Thomas Kwenaite The powerful showing by East and Central African countries in the recent major tournaments including the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers can be attributed to the role played by their regional Confederation – Central and East African Football Associations. Kenya went to Nigeria and against all odds, led the African champions in Calabar until the 93rd minute when the “Super Eagles” sneaked in to snatch a last gasp goal that leveled the score and saved them blushes after starring defeat in the eyes as seconds ticked towards a famous victory for the Harambee Stars. The same weekend, the “Taifa Stars” of Tanzania tore the form book to shreds as they hammered North African power houses Morocco 3-1 with Mbwana Samatta snatching a crucial brace to make a strong statement that there are no longer small and big countries in African football. “Our aim is to develop football in the region,” said CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye. “We are proud that we are slowly reaching our objectives when one considers the gains we have made in recent years,” he added. Ethiopia wowed fans with their free-flowing type of football at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, and are top of their 2014 World Cup qualifying group and showed their growing strength when they extended their lead at the top with a hard fought 1-0 triumph over Botswana in Addis Ababa. Initially the West African bloc – West African Football Union – used to be the most active and powerful on the continent. And the fact that during the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa seven of the last eight teams were from the WAFU region attest to their strength. But in recent years, in-fighting and lack of direction from that region has seen the collapse of WAFU. It however gave the rise of the southern African region COSAFA and at one stage the southern region was represented at the Africa Cup of Nations by five countries during the 1998 tournament in Burkina Faso. Yet as fate would have it, leaders of the region allowed COSAFA to go into a coma. But CECAFA continued to be active and today, we see the fruits of their hard work as they are not only the most active region on the continent, but their teams are challenging the usual suspect for supremacy. “We see more players from Kenya and even Tanzania and

CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye holding the Tusker cup

COSAFA representative Sue Destombes

2009 Cecafa Cup title winners Uganda.

Uganda cracking the European markets,” said Musonye. “MacDonald Mariga Wanyama is rated one of the best defensive midfielders in the Italian Serie A League for Parma. “By the same token, his brother Victor “Mugabe” Wanyama is the most sought after attacker after catching the attention of some of the top sides with his powerful displays for Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic, something that was unheard of a few years ago as far as Kenyan football was concerned.” But while many people bemoan the fall of COSAFA, it is a well-known fact that the southern African leaders allowed petty politics to cloud their judgments and

they started becoming personal, back stabbing and neglected their purpose of developing football in the region. Now they are waking up to the fact that they have been serious overtaken by CECAFA and intend to remedy the situation. Last month they sent an inspection committee to Zambia to check out facilities ahead of the re-launch of the COSAFA Senior Challenge in July. The last COSAFA Senior Challenge was staged in 2009. But now CEO Sue Destombes reveals that the tournament would be re-launched in Zambia during July and would be played at three venues. “An inspection Committee

discovered that two of the venues were in superb condition,” said Destombes. “The Nkoloma in Lusaka and obviously the recently built Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola are in excellent condition. “However, the third – Railway Stadium – which is also the home of Kabwe Warriors, needed refurbishment to bring it to international standards and then we should be ready,” she added. “Ndola is an excellent facility, while Lusaka’s Nkoloma was recently upgraded for the Zone VI Games held in Zambia and so those two venues are ready. Overall the state of preparedness for the COSAFA Cup is very good. Our visit went predictably well.” Football Association of Zambia

General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer George Kasengele said the country was ready to host a successful event. “Our commitment to organizing and hosting a successful tournament is unquestionable. This regional championship will demonstrate our commitment and ability to organize even bigger championships and our campaign for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be further boosted by what will be a successful COSAFA championship in July.” All 14 competing nations have been confirmed for the tournament, which returns after an absence of three years and the draw for the first round pool stages will be conducted in Lusaka on May 3.


Page 10

SOCCER

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Ntsoeleng Monamodi, Tyrone Mondi and Tloliso Sesing at Reebok Stadium Bolton.

Three young football talents to put Free State on world map Ntsoleng Monamondi, Tyrone Mondi and Tloliso Sesing with Bolton Wanderers Captain Zat Knight.

Manager Rasthoem Simons was accompanying the three boys to ensure they are in good hands. After arriving in the UK on the 4th April Tyrone, Sesing and Moses were warmly welcomed by their English host families, who helped them to settle in nicely. They had a couple of training sessions with the Bolton youth coaches and also attended the 2-0 Championship victory by Bolton Wanderers against Wolverhapton Wonderers at the Reebok Stadium, where they also met Bolton’s first team captain Zat Knight.

The three Free State talents had already progressed through two scouting rounds of the of the Bolton Wanderers talent search programme

The three Free State talents had already progressed through two scouting rounds of the of the Bolton Wanderers talent search programme and were selected at the Grand Skills Final in 2012,

April proved to be one of the greatest months in the young lives of Tyrone Mondi, Tloliso Sesing and Moses Ntsoeleng from the Free State province. The three South African football talents were in Bolton to show their football skills at trials with the Bolton Wanderers International Soccer School (BWISS) for a couple of days. This once-in-a-lifetime chance is part of the ongoing project between Bolton Wanderers and the Free State Tourism Authority (FSTA) managed by Simsport International, whose General

where they successfully competed against football talents from all over the world. They are now back in South Africa and are excitingly awaiting their reports from Bolton’s youth coaches.

Tyrone, Tloliso and Moses already impressed the coaches in Bolton and Dave Bailey, Head of the Bolton Wanderers FC International Soccer School, says: “the boys over with us from the Free State have shown great attitude and the Bolton Wanderers experience I am sure has enriched them. We are looking to a bright future in South Africa and I am sure in the years to come we will see a player get his chance at this level. We will certainly be monitoring the boys progress over the coming months.”

Ex-Zimbabwe Star Ndlovu Acquitted Of Culpable Homicide - Lawyer

Former Zimbabwe football captain Peter Ndlovu.

Former Zimbabwe football captain Peter Ndlovu has been found not guilty of culpable homicide following a car accident that killed his brother Adam last December, his lawyer said on Friday. Former Coventry City striker Peter, 40, was driving the car at the time of the accident. Police said he was speeding and at fault. “He’s been found not guilty. There was no evidence whatsoever,” Harrison Nkomo, Ndlovu’s lawyer, told Reuters.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment. Peter and Adam, who both represented Zimbabwe at international level, were travelling to a friendly match when their BMW struck a tree near Victoria Falls after a tyre burst. Peter had a lengthy career in England between 1991 and 2004 where he made over 400 appearances for Coventry City, Birmingham City and Sheffield United. He retired in 2011 and was capped 100 times for the Zimbabwe national team.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

SOCCER

Page 11

LOCAL COACHES STEP OUT OF THE SHADOWS By Thomas Kwenaite The South African Premiership has been described by FIFA as the seventh most commercially successful in the world. The packaging of the league and aggressive marketing of the product coupled with the impressive prize money involved has made South Africa the destination of choice on the continent. But while the spotlight has been on the playing field, the colorful spectators with their vuvuzelas as well as the world class facilities, few people have been aware of a silent revolution that has been taking place on the technical front of most teams in the elite division. At least 12 of the teams in the Premiership are handled by local born coaches while one is guided by a Zimbabwean who spent his entire life playing professional football in South Africa and the other three by a German, Englishman and a Dutchman! Understanding the cultural and social background as well as the mental psyche of the local players has been cited as the major reasons why local coaches have been successful in their jobs and finally winning over the confidence of club owners after setting a blistering pace in the PSL. This was unheard of in the past where local coaches were not trusted by the powers that be to handle top clubs. In fact, they would rather go to the backwaters of some obscure East European country and haul an inexperienced greenhorn and entrusted them with the duties of handling their teams. And some of these coaches, perhaps aware of how naïve we were, have doctored their CV’s and yet we have continued to believe in them, with the result that some have completely destroyed the uninhibited natural flair of our players and turned most into human robots. “Some of the foreign coaches have come with their stereotype rigid coaching style that have not been suitable to local players at all. We have watched some of them insisting that players must get the ball down the wing and then pump crosses into the penalty area in the hope that the strikers will head the ball into the net,” said Golden Arrows coach Manqoba Mngqithi. “We no longer produce physically imposing players in South Africa,” said Mngqithi. “And as a result, you have to do with what you have. If I have a player that is physically strong, is tactically intelligent, can pass the ball and is able to play even without the ball, that is my type of player,” he added. Most local coaches agreed with Mngqithi. And Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela reveals that he looks for certain qualities in a player. And if a player

brings intelligence, passes the ball well and can combine a work ethic with pace at times, that’s his kind of player. We know that even the South African Football Association (SAFA), despite overwhelming evidence of local coaches excelling with the national team, have gone against the grain and employed an untested Natalino Santana among others, who turned our national team into the laughing stock of the world after leading them to nine consecutive defeats! But the situation has been gradually changing and it is truly refreshing to see almost 70% of the 16-team League all being products of the game and some have been, only a few years ago, playing in the very same league where they are now sitting on the bench and helping to grow. “I cannot put my finger on why club owners are now changing and showing trust in local born coaches,” said Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques who has won the MTN 8 Cup and his team is pushing very hard for a top five finish. “But I guess they have finally realized that we understand the culture and we know how to interact with the players. We know the background of this country and its players much better and we are more flexible than coaches coming from other parts of the world,” he added. Komphela, a former Bafana Bafana captain who had at one stage guided the team to a second position on the table, concurred with Marques and added that the advantage of a coach who was born and grew up in this country was his understanding of local conditions. “The reason why the PSL is so competitive,” said Komphela. “It’s because it is congested with local coaches. You do not have to be a scientist to know that a coach coming from abroad needs a little bit of time to adapt but unfortunately there is so little time that before you know it, the season has ended. “So while local coaches have grown under the same culture and understand the lay of the land, a foreign coach must hit the ground running and that is why most local coaches are doing extremely well. And I think they have brought a certain exciting element within the game and it is rubbing off the spectators as well. “Look at coaches that have survived. Stuart Baxter coached here in the past, Ernst Middendorp has been living here long enough and a coach like Muhsin Ertugral has also enjoyed success because he studied the culture and has been here for much longer periods. “Johan Neeskens is a very good coach, so was Antonio Habas and even Hristo Stoichkov. But I guess because they needed to adapt first, they couldn’t achieve

Steve Komphela, one of the new breed of rising local coaches the necessary results. In the PSL you have to hit the ground running when you come from outside the country otherwise you are history.” This season has seen the rise of fresh-faced new local coaches finally stepping out of the shadows and not only recording incredibly impressive results, but turning the fortunes of their respective teams around, something club owners used to believe could only be achieved by foreign coaches. What Cavin Johnson has achieved with Platinum Stars this season is nothing short of a miracle. And when one looks at how Clinton Larsen has turned around Bloemfontein Celtic and not turned them into a formidable fighting machine but Telkom champions, it has given the saying “local is lekker” a new meaning! Pitso Mosimane, who built SuperSport United into a force in local football, returned to club coaching with Mamelodi Sundowns during December and found the “Brazilians” languishing in the drop zone. But he has managed to haul them from the quagmire and appears to have stabilized them. AmaZulu were dead certs for relegation and Craig Rosslee was

brought in. While they have not gone out of the woods just yet, he seems to have stopped the rot and they now play the most attractive and attacking football with clear indications that they have regained their confidence. “I believe in positive, attacking football,” remarks Komphela. “I believe in winning and winning in style. I subscribe to a more progressive style and hate defensive football. My philosophy is offensive football but you must also be brave and adventurous to play this type of football.” Celtic coach Clinton Larsen reveals that he learned from some of the best coaches that shaped his career. Viktor Bondarenko, Gordon Igesund, Clive Barker, Ted Dumitru taught him about discipline and many other angles he tries to bring out in his own coaching approach. “I want my team to be offensive but disciplined at the same time,” said Larsen. “I want my team to penetrate down the middle and if that does not work, they must be able to automatically switch to wing play and try to break down their opponents from out wide,” that’s the style I want to bring here at Celtic.

“You have to know how to deal with local players,” says Golden Arrows coach Manqoba Mngqithi. “There is a vast different in the European and African cultures and you must be able to balance the two cultures. “I want to create a framework from which my players can express themselves freely, without fear that I would admonish them. I always encourage my players to try and achieve our tactical objective within a framework of using various means that can be described as total football,” said Mngqithi. Most of the coaches explain that they have no problem with club coaches bringing in foreign coaches. But gone are the days when local coaches labored in the dark and today, local coaches are capable of teaching foreigners a thing or two about the game. “We must not underrate our own products,” said Zeca Marques. “If you look at the PSL you realize that many African countries as well as Europeans have come to South Africa and have used the PSL as a case study on how to market the game, an indication of how far we have advanced as a country.”


By Thomas Kwenaite The arrival of a Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection delegation led by Secretary General in Windhoek later this month is expected to herald the start of earnest preparations for the 2014 CAF African Women Championships. Hicham El Amrani, the Moroccan CAF Secretary General leads a powerful delegation to the desert country bordering Botswana, Angola and South Africa to inspect match venues as well as training facilities and accommodation for the eight women finalists that will contest the biennial CAF tournament towards the end of next year. According to the President of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) John Muinjo, a Local Organizing Committee consisting of the corporate sector, the NFA as well as the government has already been set up to put in place proper mechanism for the successful hosting of the tournament. “As soon as the CAF Secretary General has inspected the venues and is satisfied about the state of affairs, preparations will kick into top gear,” said Muinjo. “We have chosen two match venues in Windhoek and in Katutura township where we would stage double-header games at each venue.” Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob who also doubles up as a patron of the NFA, has been playing a key role in ensuring that the facilities are refurbished and spruced up to meet the required international standards. “We were greatly impressed by the show put up by Equatorial Guinea who staged the last African Women Championship,” said Muinjo. “They have really inspired us and we aim to surpass their achievements and put up an even much more dazzling event,” added Muinjo whose country has

Namibia puts finishing touches to 2014

SOCCER

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Page 12

As soon as the CAF Secretary General has inspected the venues and is satisfied about the state of affairs, preparations will kick into top gear.

never really hosted a major sporting event since gaining independence in 1990. But not only is Namibia concentrating on logistics. They have already started the process of putting together a solid and competitive team. To this effect, they have selected a group of 40 players from around the country and this group is expected to go into camp where they will undergo rigorous training regime to knock them into tip top shape by the time the tournament gets underway. Muinjo explains that they sat down with the Technical Committee led by Jacqueline Shipanga and outlined their mandate to her. They have shown their intentions to not just participate as hosts, but to win the tournament by appointing a German born Technical Director to assist Shipanga. The duo is expected to whittle down the 40 players to a manageable number that would be expected to go into camp when kickoff draws closer and this select group is expected to represent the country with dignity and honor. Shipanga, a highly qualified

John Muinjo, President of the NFA. woman coach from Windhoek, has been tasked with honing the team into a formidable machine and ensuring that they would not just host and add the numbers, but to win the tournament, according to Muinjo. Meanwhile, their next door neighbors South Africa's Banyana Banyana, losing finalists at the last

tournament in Equatorial Guinea have already started preparations for the biennial tournament according to their mentor Joseph Mkhonza. Losing to the hosts Equatorial Guinea has been painful to swallow for South Africa, especially by such a high margin of 4-1. The defeat showed their deficiencies after they had finally taken the monkey from their shoulders – defeating Nigeria – after struggling for close on two decades to achieve this objective, but it also showed that they need to double their efforts if they want to become continental champions. Two months ago, Mkhonza left behind a couple of senior players and selected a couple of unknown players and then took them to Cyprus where they played four games and lost two while winning two to finish 11th in the 12 team annual Cyprus tournament that included countries like France, Japan, England, Korea and Ireland. “We have to build a larger pool of players,” said Mkhonza. “We cannot rely on a selected few players because that has proved in the past to be our downfall, especially when one or two key players suffer from serious injuries.” To this end, Banyana Banyana title sponsors Sasol in conjunction with the South African Football Association, are going on a road show at the nine provinces of the country where Mkhonza and his technical committee are expected to identify talented players to rope into the national

Namibia’s Brave Warriors posing for a group photo with Platinum Stars Henrico Botes (standing fifth from right).

set-up. “At the end of these road shows,” explained Mkhonza. “We will bring all the identified players together to a training camp where the best of the best would be selected; those we feel have the potential to make it to the senior national team. “This should not be misconstrued to imply that we are getting rid of certain players or intend to dismantle the squad. We know that we have and we are aware of the capabilities of players at our disposal, we just want to discover new talent to compliment what we have.” In June, almost 90% of the Banyana Banyana players have been selected into a South African University squad that would represent the country at the International University tournament in Russia and Mkhonza would be keeping a close eye on their performances. Then during September, Banyana Banyana have been invited to two international tournaments in Europe, one in Uzbekistan and the other in Switzerland, an indication of how popular the South African national women team has become on the global stage since their showing at the London Olympic Games. But their ultimate ambition remains to qualify for the World Cup in Canada and to realize their dreams, they have to make sure that they end up among the top three teams at the end of the 2014 CAF African Women Championships in Namibia.


RUGBY

May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

Page 13

Kings beat hasty retreat on transformation By Zeena Isaacs IT IS ironic how the key phrase among the Southern Kings administrators a year ago while they were fighting for Super Rugby inclusion was transformation, yet that seems to be the last thing on their minds after securing the franchise. Since 2008 the media and public have been forced to listen to the chirps from the Southern and Eastern Cape rugby bosses that they deserve a place in Super Rugby because the region boasts a wealth of talented black players who could be future Springboks. We were told that the lack of top class rugby in the region was the stumbling block preventing these players from reaching their potential and leaving a lasting impression on SA’s die-hard supporters even though the Eastern Province Rugby Union Currie Cup team itself fielded minimal black players last year. Instead - said the administrators - many of the players, were forced to follow in the footsteps of Akona and Odwa Ndungane, former flank Tim Dlulane and the late Solly Tyibilika among others – all Springboks – who left the Eastern Cape to find top class rugby opportunities elsewhere.

The latter statement is certainly true. But we are more than five weeks into the Super Rugby season and the Kings have yet to deliver on their commitment to boost transformation in South African rugby after being given the platform to bring such players through. The irony, however, is that they have drafted in a series of foreign players including Argentineans Nicolas Vergallo and Tomas Leonardi, Frenchman Virgile Lacombe, New Zealander Hadleigh Parkes, Kenyan-born Daniel Adongo – albeit he is black - and Namibianborn Jaco Engels to boost their team, while one could count the

number of black players in the match 22 on one hand. Frankly this is a slap in the face to the self-same players they were bragging about a year ago. Of course one has to admit that the Kings have already outdone themselves in terms of their performances by beating the Western Force and holding the Sharks tryless in their sold-out clash in Port Elizabeth in round two – results only the coaches and players would have thought were possible. After all this is a tough competition, and the fact that the Bulls are the only South African side to have experienced the thrill of winning the series since the inception of the Super 12 series in 1996 is

evidence that it takes a special bunch of players to succeed in the competition. But that said it is a shame that the Kings have back-tracked on their promise to provide an opportunity for the local black players to make their mark. Unfortunately one could have predicted this scenario immediately after the announcement late last year that the Kings would replace the Lions in the series, as the franchise’s president Cheeky Watson did a fine job at dodging questions about their transformation objectives. He also used the limited time they had to contract new players and prepare the team for the

series as an excuse immediately after being granted the team and said outright that it was unfair to form a team at such short notice. What Watson omitted was the fact that they didn’t have to fight for the team and that they had an option to reach an agreement with the South African Rugby Union that they would replace the last placed team next year. Fortunately for Watson Saru president Oregan Hoskins made it clear to the media at the press conference that followed that he could not prescribe to the Kings how many black players they should field, as it was not standard practice with the other franchises. As a result the Kings’ opted to change their approach to selecting the best possible team “on merit” meaning transformation had to be placed on the back-burner. Hopefully, however, we will see a few of the talented black players in the region make their mark in the next few months as the competition progresses and the need to rotate players increases. That is the least the Kings could do after Saru’s top brass went out on a limb to include them in the series and willingly weathered the storm following the negative public reaction to the decision.

Ebersohn twins great siblings and opponents By Zeena Isaacs SEVERAL brothers have played provincial rugby in SA over the years, but only a few have been lucky enough to feature in the same team as their twin brother – a luxury Robert Ebersohn cherished up until last year. Robert and his brother Sias - who moved to Australia this season to take up a contract with the Western Force – attended Grey College in Bloemfontein and progressed steadily through the ranks in the Free State by representing the Craven Week team, the Baby Boks and the Cheetahs simultaneously. But while Robert had the luxury of establishing himself as a star centre over the years, Sias was forced to feed off the scraps due to the tough competition at flyhalf, triggering a move to the Force. But despite this Robert, who took over the captaincy of the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup last season in the absence of Super Rugby skipper, Springbok Adriaan Strauss, appreciated every moment of growing in his career alongside his brother. “It was always my big dream to become a professional rugby player and as young boys Sias was always my main opponent because we played rugby in the garden, so we have always been close,” said the Cheetahs vicecaptain. “As our careers developed we remained close, but funny enough

we didn’t speak about rugby all that much because it became our jobs. Fortunately I feel as though we are still growing closer even though he plays in Australia, but it is a real privilege to have played in the same team as my brother.” Making the achievement more special was the fact that the twins grew up in a passionate rugby family as their father Tiaan was a former Cheetahs and Western Province center. As a result of this the trio spent most weekends watching the Cheetahs play. “I grew up in Bloemfontein, and my father, brother and I always used to watch the Cheetahs’ games while we were growing up, so it is a real honour to play for the team,” said Ebersohn. “My mom and dad are very proud of my brother and I, and they have been pillars of strength in our careers. My mom, in particular, doesn’t know much about rugby, but she was always been there to support us, and I don’t think my father missed one of our matches growing up. Even though Sias is in Australia now, my parents still show incredible support for him.” Zoning in on his career Robert revealed that he played looseforward at school before switching to fullback and later centre. But he speaks of his career with a proud tone and admitted that he promised himself he would continue to learn as much as he could in his mission to be the best player he could be.

Sneezing twins leading the charge for Toyota Cheetahs “I am delighted with where I am in my career,” he said. “I was 19 years old when I started playing for the Cheetahs and I am honoured to be a senior member in the set-up four years later. “Interestingly at school I played tennis and did athletics too, but with Grey being a popular rugby school I knew there would be a chance that I could play for the Cheetahs. As things turned out I was selected for the team directly after school. Rugby will always be a rollercoaster ride with the ups and downs depending on how the team performs, but I love it.” Given his success at provincial level, the player still harbours Springbok aspirations, and while he admits that it could be tough

to make the step up given the intense competition for places in the midfield combined with national coach Heyneke Meyer’s preference for big centres, he has not given up hope. Looking at the Super Rugby series, meanwhile, he was proud of his team’s record of winning three matches overseas for the first time since their introduction to Super Rugby in 2006, although he conceded that the senior players would appreciate it more than the youngsters after the nightmare tours they have been on in past. Ebersohn, however, said the biggest challenge going forward was to see whether they could replicate that form at home.

“This is a tough competition and one could see it judging by the results in the last few weeks,” said Ebersohn. “Anything can happen on the day and the Sharks proved that by losing to the Brumbies one week and bouncing back with the record-breaking victory against the Rebels last week. So we have a big challenge ahead. But I think if we win all our home games and perhaps a few away games against local teams we could finish in the top 6 this year. That, however, will require having to change our fortunes against the Bulls and Stormers because we don’t have good win records against them. But we will work hard to achieve it.”


Page 14

RUGBY

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Bismarck hungrier than ever By Zeena Isaacs

Bismarck makes his presence felt. ing. Now I know why coaches loose their hair so quickly,” he joked” While the long break may have been the cause of immense frustration for the hard-working hooker, he said it also created a burning desire within him to return to the job he loves dearly.

“That said, I have never been out for this long so I cannot say for sure how long it will take to play good rugby again. But I can tell you that if I have full range of motion in my knee I will try help the Sharks play to their best ability – my goal is always to do the best job I can on the field for

I cannot wait to get back on the field.

months has been an enormous challenge,” said the down-toearth star. “I cannot wait to get back on the field. Sitting on the side-lines is way more stressful than play-

“My hunger for the game is larger than ever, so I am working really hard on all the vital stuff to ensure that I am well prepared for my first game,” said Du Plessis.

AFTER eight months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury star Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis is hungrier than ever to get back on the field and make his presence felt. But while SA’s rugby faithful believe that it would not take him long to reclaim the No2 jersey at the Boks and the Sharks given the massive impact makes on the field, the player refused to take his position for granted. Instead he said he was working hard on his rehabilitation to ensure that he is in the best possible condition when he returns. Given the complicated nature of ligament injuries Du Plessis himself was not certain about when he would return to the field, but he hoped it would be by mid-May. “Being injured is never ideal, but I can definitely confirm that not being able to play for eight

whichever team I am selected.” Despite establishing himself as the first-choice Springbok hooker in the last few seasons, Du Plessis’ path the top was paved with challenges - the big-

gest of which was being forced to wait in line for a starting berth at the Boks and the Sharks behind former Bok captain John Smit. Smit later earned his place in history as the most capped Springbok captain, and many players, including Du Plessis, have attested to the fact that he is one of the best captains they have played under. Such was Du Plessis’ modesty about his achievements, when quizzed about how it felt to finally be the first-choice Bok hooker and the fact that he is only four Tests away from earning his 50th cap. “You are only as good as your last game,” he said. “In rugby you can’t take anything for granted. I played all of three minutes in August for the Springboks in 2012, so my focus this year is to play myself back into the team… I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to play for the Boks and I really hope I get the same blessing again.” Speaking about the highlights in his career, he said the opportunity to play provincial and international rugby with his brother, prop Jannie du Plessis, had to rank as one of the most special achievements any player could experience. And making this even more remarkable, they were both in

the Bok touring squads during the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups in France and New Zealand respectively. Off the field, they also share a house together. “Every time I run on to a rugby field is a highlight,” he said. “I have the best job in the world and I love what I do. To make it more special I get to do it with my best friends and the cherry on the cake is that my brother is right next to me most of the time.” While Du Plessis singled out his supportive and proud family among the most influential people in his career, he named Smit and former Bok and Sharks lock Johan Ackermann as his main role models. Commenting on the Sharks’ Super Rugby campaign, the player said while they have showed flashes of good form, there was hard work ahead for the team to keep alive their hopes of winning the series for the first time. “The team has played well at times and at other times they haven’t played so well,” he said. “This year I believe we need to do something extra special to ensure that we take our performance to the next level and ultimately overcome the last hurdle because what we did before could not take us to that next step.”

SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS CONFEDERATION AND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SASCOC is South Africa’s national multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation, presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games.

We are responsible for the awarding for National Protea Colours to athletes/officials who have met the criteria to represent South Africa in different sporting codes and arenas and we also endorse the applications for Bidding and Hosting of international events, providing these criteria are all met.

There is much to celebrate about sport, therefore SASCOC produces a must-read quarterly magazine: Road to Rio 2016

At SASCOC we also look after all our various National Federations who are affiliated to us, together with the various provincial sports councils.

www.sascoc.co.za www.roadtorio.co.za Follow: @Team_SA_2012


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

RUGBY

Page 15

LAY OUT RED CARPET FOR THE BLUE BULLS By Zeena Isaacs WITH three Super Rugby titles, 23 Currie Cup titles and several under-19 and under-21 trophies to their name, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union has established itself as one of the top rugby brands in South Africa and the world. While some may attribute this success to their ability to develop and sign some of the best players, the union’s high performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg believes it is a combination of several factors. The high work ethic, winning culture, professional structures and family atmosphere, he said, were four of the keys that have contributed to the success of a franchise previously known as the “Lions of the North!” who have turned Loftus Stadium as a fortress. Interestingly Janse van Rensburg only joined the union in 2010, but took over the high performance managing role last year from Ian Schwartz, who accepted a position as the Springbok team manager. And while he admits that the job has its own challenges especially in terms of contracting players and retaining the services of the best junior players, he admitted that the opportunity to work with Schwartz, who filled the role for several years, and former director of rugby Heyneke Meyer, (now the Springbok coach), was the kind of invaluable experience that prepared him to keep the union on this positive path in future. “I am very fortunate that when I started at the Bulls Ian and Heyneke were still at the union,” said van Rensburg. “So I saw

how they did things and what they focused on. “Heyneke was in fact a key figure in putting the existing structures in place and there is no doubt that he was light years ahead of the other teams and unions. “He looked at the levels of the game (from junior to senior level) and thought of ways to ensure that they would all be the best, and that has made a massive difference.” As expected Janse van Rensburg admitted that the Bulls Super Rugby team were yet to hit their straps in the series this season, but he said they anticipated that it would take three or four seasons for the team to return to their best following the departure of veterans Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield (who is now the forwards coach), Gary Botha, Danie Ros-

souw and Gurthro Steenkamp. This, however, did not blur his view of the union’s past success and future potential and said it was important to adopt a holistic view to the Bulls success, rather than looking at the contributing factors in isolation. “There is a very good work ethic at the union at all levels and we are like a family, which is vital because everyone knows what is required of them and that we have their best interests at heart,” he said. “In my opinion developing the juniors is also important from a high performance perspective especially if one considers that a player’s lifespan at the highest level is not very long. “The fact that the professional market has resulted in overseas clubs snapping up the top players also makes it vital, as it is

important that we have players coming through the system who could replace them. “We also have a system whereby the senior players mentor the juniors and that prepares them for the demands of professional rugby because they get to learn from the best. “Success also requires having good structures in place and fortunately we have that. We have the same moves from junior to senior level and the players are treated with the same professionalism, which makes the transition from junior to senior rugby easy.” Another vital aspect in the union’s success, he said, was their top-class conditioning programme – a factor Meyer placed a high price on as the Bulls head coach a few years ago. “Our view is that conditioning is the cornerstone of being a pro-

on attack and the support they have received at home has been fantastic. People might not want to admit it, but South Africa is proud of them. As a team they have definitely not disgraced themselves.” But with the Kings languishing on the lower-end of the log table and SA’s other four franchises boasting top-class players and the talent to secure play-off places, Mordt suspected that the Kings would be forced to face the Lions in the two promotionrelegation fixtures at the end of the season. “It is just a pity there will be a promotion-relegation play-off at the end of the season with another South African team,” he said. “Although that said, if you look at the progress the Kings have made since the beginning of the season, they will not be easy to beat. I certainly think they have done better than anyone thought they would, and it is good for

South African rugby to have them in the series. “Frankly I think they will surprise a few more teams in the weeks to come, and there is no doubt most teams would think twice about fielding their B teams against the Kings.” Botha was equally complimentary of the Super Rugby rookies and he suggested that the team should remain in the series for the next few years in the interests of South African rugby. “The lesson that we have learned from this is that the Southern Kings have to be part of the bigger picture in South African rugby even though there are some people who might not want to hear it,” said the man who was undoubtedly one of the best flyhalves in the history of South African rugby. “They are playing good rugby, they have been registering results no-one thought they would achieve and they have been filling the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

fessional rugby player because if a player is not in good shape he cannot perform optimally,” said Janse van Rensburg. “So we ensure that all our players receive specialist treatment to compete at this level. Interestingly in the past there was a view that the Bulls’ conditioning focused on developing big powerful players, but we vary things, so there is also an emphasis on having explosive and mobile players. This is important given the changes in the sport in the last few years.” Looking ahead, van Rensburg was excited about the potential at the union given the talented players on their books and coming through the ranks, and he had no doubt that the Bulls and Blue Bulls would continue to stamp their authority in South African rugby in future.

Kings deserve special place in SA rugby By Zeena Isaacs FORMER Springboks Naas Botha and Ray Mordt and Sanzar CEO Greg Peters this week admitted that the Southern Kings had provided a breath of fresh air in the Super Rugby series despite the negative reaction to the team’s inclusion at first. Such was the negativity toward the Port Elizabeth-based side ahead of their debut season few gave them a chance of winning a single match, while their fiercest critics waited with bated breath for them to fail to hit back at the South African Rugby Union for excluding the Lions. Several weeks into the series, however, everyone’s opinions about the side has changed thanks to their competitive performances and their shock draw against the Brumbies, who are coached by 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok coach Jake White. While some critics have

admitted to eating humble pie after writing them off, others have developed a soft spot for the PEbased side and have switched their allegiances. As expected, the attitude among the influential rugby men was no different. “I think the whole of SA, as well as Australia and New Zealand have realised that they have come into Super Rugby as a very well equipped new team,” said Mordt, the legendary Bok wing. “It is a pleasure watching them. Everyone thought they would be ‘no-hopers’ but no-one can take away how well they are doing even though they are not in a favourable position on the log. “I think Alan Solomons has done a great job as their director of rugby, and with Matt Sexton from New Zealand as the head coach, one can see the New Zealand influence in their style of play. “They defend well they, they have been improving steadily

If one looks at the crowd numbers in particular, they have to be taken seriously. I also think they have a very good coaching team.” Peters’ attitude was understandably more diplomatic as the CEO of the competition’s governing body, but he was encouraged by the Kings’ performances in the opening weeks of the series. “They (the Kings) are getting fantastic crowd numbers and it was good for them to get that first win (against the Western Force),” Peters said from Australia. “That is not bad if you compare them to other teams who made their debuts in the series in the past. I think they have performed above many people’s expectations.” With the Kings expected to line up regularly against the physical South African sides as the competition reaches a climax there is no doubt they will be up against it, but they could certainly hold their heads high following an encouraging opening season in Super Rugby.


Page 16

SWIMMING

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Olympic Games swimming breaststroke champion Cameron van der Burgh with Tubby Reddy. Picture by WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SA SPORTS PICTURE AGENCY

Cameron Happy with Progress The 15th FINA World Championships takes place in Barcelona, Spain from 19 July – 4 August and with just over three months to go to the event South African swimmers were handed a life jacket with regard to competing in the biennial event. Swimming SA CEO, Shaun Adriaanse revealed: “We have got some funding from Fina, which will help with the costs, and if

By Lizette Khan

So far its been going really well and I haven’t had any trouble for the last two to three months we can find a corporate sponsor before the championships the athletes won’t need to contribute.” As things stand, Swimming SA will contribute around 85% of the

costs of team members not on the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Operation Excellence programme (Opex), with the swimmers having

to contribute a maximum of R3, 000. SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy also weighed in on the subject and confirmed that they would be covering the costs for all the swimmers on the Opex programme; he clarified the body’s stance on the matter. “We have retained all Olympic medalists and finalists on the Opex programme from the London Games to this point, and wewill now reassess the athletes on the list,” said Reddy. “One of those individuals is South African Olympic gold medalist Cameron van den Burgh and according to him he was always sure of SASCOC’s backing. ”I always knew that SASCOC would cover my costs,” he said in an interview with InsideSportAfrica adding, “We will be paid for by SASCOC, as we are on Opex, but the main guys are the young guys that are breaking through and going to their first

world championships that don’t have any sponsors and maybe cat afford it.” Van der Burgh was one of only two swimmers who were able to medal at the last World Championship held in Shanghai and for him there is no mistaking what participating in a global showpiece like this means, “Competitions like the World Champs can launch your career. I remember 2007 was my first time and the first time that I got a taste of international swimming, without that I wouldn’t be the swimmer that I am today.” It is for precisely this reason that he has concerns about the swimmers who are still trying to make a name for themselves. “It’s just a worry for all the kids that might not have the funds to go.” But he remains optimistic, “obviously 85% is a lot better than zero % so I’m really chuffed for that and lets hope that swimming SA can find a good title sponsor to come on and sort out the trouble that has been going on for the last couple of months.” The show must go on however, and the breaststroke champion is focused on participation. “Preparations for the World Champs are going pretty well so far. I had a small injury last year after the Olympic Games and I took a little time off so I only started training again in January. “But we getting up to speed and I’m really looking forward to competing again.” The injury to his subscapular muscle has meant extensive rehabilitation with a focus on strengthening the muscle and he is encouraged by the progress thus far. “So far its been going really well and I haven’t had any trouble for the last two to three months, so we’ll see how it comes along and if it holds up another two to three months to the World Champs I’ll be happy.” Despite the injury and resulting delay to his training schedule, Van der Burgh is still positive about his prospects in Barcelona. “Coming off the Olympic games and being Olympic champion you’d like to remain at the top, I put a lot of pressure on myself and expectation to win the 50m and 100m [breaststroke] this time around again.” He isn’t letting the pressure get him down however. “I think that pressure is a privilege and I’m very fortunate to be in the position that people are sort of targeting me and I think that I try to use that as positive energy and try to motivate myself to push harder knowing that there are all these other guys gunning to beat you.” South Africa finished 25th in the medals table at the previous biennial World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai in 2011. Cameron van der Burgh walked away with two bronze medals and Gerhardus Zandberg won SA’s only other medal, bronze in the 50m backstroke. The South African team will no doubt be aiming to improve on that record this time around.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

GOLF

Page 17

HUGO DETERMINED TO RECAPTURE HIS BEST By Zeena Isaacs

do as well as I would have liked last year, despite all the hard work I put in, and to be honest I was surprised that I didn’t do well. “But fortunately I performed well in the years prior to that, so I am confident I can do well again. I also played some good golf in the early part of the year, so I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.” The relaxed atmosphere on the winter tour aside, he said the camaraderie between the golfers was another factor that appealed to him. “The winter tour is not as demanding as the summer tour firstly, and secondly although the standard of golf is high, it is not at the same competitive level as that when the top European players are here in December and January,” he said. “The same guys play on the winter tour weekly, so there is

SOUTH African golfer Jean Hugo may have missed the cut in three of the six European co-sanctioned events on the Sunshine Tour dating back to December, but a few encouraging finishes this year has sparked a burning desire within him to reach his potential on the golf course. In fact, his mantra is “the difference between a good golfer and a great golfer is confidence” and that is exactly what he will be in search of as he attempts to stamp his authority on the Sunshine Tour winter swing 14 years after turning professional. The winter leg began with the Zimbabwe Open in Harare between 18 and 21 April, and will be followed by the Investec Royal Swazi Open, the Zambia Sugar Open and Lombard Insurance Classic back in Swaziland, after which the golfers will return to SA for the remaining events. And with joint 9th, 21st, 4th and 5th place finishes in his last four events, and a well-deserved 10-day holiday between the summer and winter legs, Hugo relished the chance to get back on the golf course. Unlike the summer swing, which features several tournaments and short breaks, if any, between them Hugo said one of the advantages of the winter tour was that there was enough time to iron out the problem areas in one’s game. “During winter I usually try to work on my game and improve on specific areas because we have the luxury of time and it also helps in terms of competing well on the summer tour,” said Hugo. “I did six events in each of the last two winters and the rest of the time was spent working on my game. Unfortunately I didn’t

But it helps that there are a few events on the Sunshine Tour which are co-sanctioned by the European Tour meaning you could qualify that way if you win. always friendly banter, and also some of the events are played in a Pro-Am format, so it is quite nice to play with some of the amateurs and to help them. “Obviously the money is not as good as on the summer tour, so we have to take our golf very seriously to make money, but everyone is willing to lend a helping hand and give advice where they can.” Such is the competitiveness and drive to succeed on the

SAY THAT AGAIN! “That’s not what I’m here for, I’m here to build a club like a (Orlando) Pirates, like a (Kaizer) Chiefs, Sundowns, capable to taking the league title three years in a row. I don’t want to be a five minute team like Santos, who have never won the league again. We are striving to build continuity and make a name for ourselves.” – Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson after his club’s qualification for the Nedbank Cup semifinals.

"The Club will take the strongest possible action against those involved in the disturbances and will impose immediate lifetime bans on all those found guilty. These deplorable individuals have no place at Newcastle United and bring shame on the Club and the vast majority of its proper, law-abiding fans." –

Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson. English Premier League club Newcastle United condemning their fan riots. "I think they have the strength, but I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel. We've got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I

think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you're trying to win. The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don't think they have aptitude to win a Formula One race." – said British grand prix great Stirling Moss on women and F1.

“I prefer the talking to be done on the field but I don’t think I’ve ever been as well prepared before a season as the management team is now. This is the best ever prepared I have been for a team. I’ve done a lot of homework, I’ve done a lot of travelling, as have the assistant coaches, and we have learned a lot. This time last

summer leg, Hugo said one could sense the tension in the golfer’s attitudes as they pile pressure on themselves to win events to secure European Tour cards and cash in on the large prize funds. Interestingly, while the 38 year-old admits that while qualifying for a European Tour card remains one of his main ambitions, he was careful about working himself into a tizz to achieve it. “Every year we have one week to qualify to play on the

European and Asian Tours and I have tried in the last few years, but I have missed out by a few strokes,” he said. “But it helps that there are a few events on the Sunshine Tour which are co-sanctioned by the European Tour meaning you could qualify that way if you win. The reality though is that most golfers aspire to get onto those tours. “That said the standard of the Sunshine Tour is fantastic and one can see that by how many of our local golfers have done well and have competed with some of the best golfers in the world. “Thanks to the hard work by the tour’s management Selwyn Nathan and Grant Wilson we now have the most European Tour events than any other country. We are privileged and it is fantastic for us as golfers to receive the opportunity to face the best European golfers often.” pion Ernie Els on Adam Scott’s victory.

year the assistant coaches were still involved in Super Rugby and weren’t available to work with me, but this time we have done a lot of planning together and it’s made a huge difference.” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. "RugbyWA is embarrassed by this disruption at a Force home match and does not condone this behaviour," Western Force in a statement. "This was unacceptable behaviour from a small minority of attendees at the venue and is the first instance of such behaviour at a Force home match in eight years of Super Rugby. Regardless, it will not be tolerated." "I could not be happier for my buddy Adam Scott. I said after Lytham that he'd win majors and he didn't waste much time doing that!" - four-times major cham-

“I've been in great form leading up to this and it was a really early swim this morning… I swam into the lane rope a couple of times and my last turn was really bad, I turned on the wall. To miss out by 0.3 seconds is quite hard and I just couldn't see anything and it is unfortunate that I missed out.” - Myles Brown said after missing out on the qualifying time for the World Championships. "It was a good two-year offer with an extension of another year from Worcestershire but since the contract required me to skip the national duties I turned it down. It gives a cricketer a good experience of English conditions but I think as the captain of the team I have a lot of responsibility and leading the team is my first priority." - Pakistan's test and one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq on why he turned down an offer from English county Worcestershire.


Page 18

BOXING

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

MAKABU DESTINED FOR GREATNESS

By Carol Tshabalala The well documented success of last year’s Nashua Super 8 cruiserweight tournament, the brainchild of Golden Gloves Promotions was followed by the murmurs of one fighter many had looked forward to seeing in action. A steely fisted cruiserweight champion in the making - Ilungu Makabu. The Democratic Republic of Congo born boxer who was initially set to participate and tipped to make it all the way was unable to make a

Ilunga Makabu packs a mean punch and is destined to go far in the fistic game.

showing due to a contractual dispute between his then management and GGP. Keen to join the stable of champions that Rodney Berman oversees, he had to sit on the ropes and watch the action, patiently awaiting his turn to show the boxing world that he was the next bright star in a division devoid of too many shining lights. The year 2013 has

Pictures by Mark Geldenhuiz- African Ring

turned out to be his year. Having officially signed with Golden Gloves, such is the belief in him from Rodney Berman that he ceded a portion of ownership to his American associate Lou DiBella, ensuring that the road to Makabu fighting in the neon lights of the United States arenas is accelerated. He is certainly on track of his recent performance in Monte Carlo at the Monte Carlo million dollar super four tournament co

sanctioned by Golden Gloves promotions and the Monte Carlo SBM group. Makabu secured his thirteenth consecutive victory by knocking out highly rated Hungarian Tamas Lodi who was previously unbeaten following a frightening display of lighting speed combined with ferocious punching to send his opponent to dreamland. All of Makabus wins are dramatic and have come via the short route, a record that has

A steely fisted cruiserweight champion in the making - Ilungu Makabu.

ensured that his support base swells with each showing and the Monte Carlo appearance was no different. His preparation to another fine performance wasn’t ideal. He was kept in his native DRC a little longer than was ideal whilst his documents top secure him a work permit were being sorted out. A frustrated Harold “Hammer” Volbrecht had the difficult task of getting him fight ready in a short space of time and thanks to the regime and quality sparring partners in the likes of Tommy Oosthuizen, Johnny Muller and Flo Simba, the confident Makabu did just enough to triumph.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

ATHLETICS

Page 19

AMAZING KENYAN LONG DISTANT RUNNERS By Thomas Kwenaite It is an undeniable fact that Kenyan athletes rock. The statistics are hard to ignore or rather they don’t lie. This medium-size country of 41-million dominates the world in competitive running. Pick any longdistance race. You will often find that up to 70 or 80 percent of its winners since the late 1980s, when East African nutrition and technology started catching up with the rest of the world, particularly the West, have been from Kenya. Since 1988 nearly 20 of the 25 first-place men in the Boston Marathon have been Kenyans. Of the top 25 male record holders for the 3000-meter steeplechase, 18 are Kenyan. Kenyans have won seven of the last eight London marathons. It all begs the question, why are Kenyans so superior on the road? Indeed why are Kenyans dominating short and long distance running? What makes Kenyans and to a certain degree, Ethiopians such a formidable bunch on the field? Intriguingly, the majority of these runners come from three mountainous districts beside the Rift Valley: Nandi in Kenya, the most successful district, and Arsi and Shewa in Ethiopia. Down the main road, past vendors of mangoes and charcoal, past the Zam Zam Hotel and Mama Mercy Salon and under the arch that reads, "Iten, Home of Champions," there's an unmarked road the color of rust. If you turn on it and continue past fields of corn and passion fruit, you'll see them: young men and women with zero body fat in black Lycra shorts and bright running shoes warming up for the morning run. On these dirt roads pass some of the world's fastest long-distance runners, like David Rudisha, the world record holder in the 800-meter; Mary Keitany, the world record holder in the women's half-marathon; and Wilson Kipsang, the second-fastest marathoner of all time. Western experts have come up with all sorts of assumptions in an attempt to pinpoint the real reason why East African athletes are so dominant in long distant running ranging from diet, genes and heavens knows what else. European-led studies in a small region in western Kenya, which produces most of the race-winners, found that young men from the area of Iten could, with only a few months training, reliably outperform some of the West's best professional runners. The researchers concluded that runners from a certain part of Kenya appeared to have a physical advantage that is common to their community, making it probably genetic. Running, like any sport, is inherently physical, and physical traits inform athletic success. Just because Larry Bird and Michael Jordan are tall doesn't mean they aren't first and foremost great athletes. Part of Olympian Michael Phelps' record-breaking swimming

Kenyan world record holder in the 800-meter long distant running David Rudisha. is his unusual body shape, which is genetically inborn; you can't train for longer arms. All athletes owe some of their success to their own physical traits, but because Kalenjin runners share those traits across an ethnic group, and because that ethnic group is part of the story of colonialism and white exploitation of blacks for their physical labor, it's harder to talk about. But one of Kenya’s greatest runners disagrees: "There's nothing in this world that you could achieve unless you work hard to reach where you are, and so I think running is mental," said Kenyan Olympic gold medal-winner Kip Keino, who condemned the research as racist. Additional studies found significant differences in body mass index and bone structure between the Western professionals and the Kenyan amateurs who had bested them. The studied Kenyans had less mass for their height, longer legs, shorter torsos, and more slender limbs. One of the researchers described the Kenyan physical differences as "bird-like," noting that these traits would make them more efficient runners, especially over

long distances. In 1990 the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center compared post-pubescent schoolboys there to Sweden's famed national track team. The study found that boys on the high school track team in Iten, along the Rift Valley in Kenya, consistently outperformed the professional Swedish runners. The researchers estimated that the average Kalenjin could outrun 90% of the global population, and that at least 500 amateur high school students in Iten alone could defeat Sweden's greatest professional runner at the 2,000-meter. In 2000 the Danish Sports Science Institute investigation reproduced an earlier study giving a large group of Kalenjin boys from the Rift Valley three months of training and then comparing them to Thomas Nolan, a Danish track superstar. When the Kalenjin boys trounced him, the researchers who had also conducted a number of physical tests and compared them against established human averages - concluded that Kalenjins must have an inborn, physical, genetic advantage. They observed a higher number

of red blood cells (which lent new credence to thetheory that elevation makes their bodies more effective oxygen-users) but, in their conclusions, emphasized the "bird-like legs" that make running less energy-intensive and give their stride exceptional efficiency In an exclusive interview with InsideSportAfrica, South Africanbased Kenyan born respected athletic writer Mark Ouma who is conducting his own research on why Kenyans dominate road running, has endorsed some of the scientific findings. “It certainly has got to do with culture and the genes,” says Ouma. “And many of Kenya's best runners come from the sunny highlands in the Great Rift Valley, which also happens to be the birthplace of Homo sapiens. “The Rift Valley cuts a swathe through a section of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Burundi. The land across that plateau is flat with mild year-round weather, encouraging regular outdoor running.” According to Ouma, the high elevation - about 7000 feet - could help runners from around the area develop lungs capable of functioning in thinner air. When these runners descend to

the relatively low-elevation courses at Boston or Beijing, the thicker atmosphere there would give them, in effect, a sustained oxygen boost. This may help explain why they developed physical traits better suited for running, although it's possible that these features are also due to something called "genetic drift". “South Africa has the potential to develop similar athletes that could challenge the East Africans as well as perhaps even topple them from their pedestal,” reasons Ouma. “I have discovered ion my research that there are high altitude areas similar to the Rift Valley here within South Africa like some parts of the Free State bordering Lesotho; certain parts of Mpumalanga; some areas of KwaZulu/Natal as well as Limpopo. “Now all the South African authorities need to do is to build Athletic Villages within those areas, employ expert coaches and I have no doubt that stronger athletes could be produced in abundance,” added Ouma. Western research on the nature of Kenyan runners, and on successful African athletes in general, is complicated by some particularly thorny racial politics. There's a nasty history, after all, to white scientists evaluating the physical attributes of Africans. But that hesitancy to really study Kenyan runners' success has allowed some probably false, and often culturally reductive, theories to persist. Altitude is another reason why Iten produces such extraordinary athletes. They train at 8,000 feet above sea level. The idea is to strengthen circulation by creating more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to muscles. "This valley is 6 miles down. They run up these hills every single day," says Peter McHugh, director of Run-Fast, a British sports management company with a training camp in Iten. "My argument is, for instance, that if you want to build strength in your legs, you should do what the Kenyans do, which is to run up hills," he says. "We are distracted enormously by heart rate monitors, by distance monitors, by very sophisticated gymnasiums, by taking blood tests, by measuring all sorts of things." Run-Fast gives team members a bed, daily training, shoes and clothes, and simple, healthy food. Forget sports drinks and nutrition bars. Here they eat corn, beans, kale and an occasional steak. It's pretty basic, but this is what every hungry, young Kenyan runner wants: sponsorship and a manager. The men must have a marathon time of at least 2 hours, 10 minutes. Yes, there are various theories as to why Kenyans dominate world events, but after reading countless discoveries by Western researchers, we are looking forward to conclusions by our own Mark Ouma! In the meantime, just lay out the red carpet for Kenyan runners, they are the real deal and seemingly untouchable in long distant running.


Page 20

ed events, namely the O Paralympic Games, Commonwea Games, All Afric a Ga www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition 2013 mes,– Ol ympic Commonwealth Youth Games and

TENNIS & NETBALL

Ace for Wheelchair tennis By Carol Tshabalala Wheelchair Tennis South Africa, an affiliate of the South African Tennis Association (SATA), the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the international Wheelchair Tennis Federation (IWTF) finds itself almost eight years after its establishment on the brink of fulfilling its initial objective. The bodies main aim is to unleash potential and further develop tennis for persons with a disability through, expanding their reach into the disabled community, building on existing programmes hosting world-class international events and producing a super star for South Africa. Today, with programmes in all

nine provinces, over 450 active participants on a weekly basis; over 45 active centers at schools and clubs, hosting six international events and with players ranked in the top 10 in the world, WTSA is on course to rising to even greater heights. The achievements to date have largely been made possible through sponsor, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) Four athletes, Kgothatso Montjane, Lucas Sithole, Evans Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi qualified for the Paralympic Games in London 2012 a year that saw over 30 regional tournaments organized. Continuing the momentum in the New Year South Africa has

had the pleasure of hosting the world’s best players at the recently ended ACSA SA Open. History was in the making as the tournament, which forms part of the world NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, is a Super Series event on the international wheelchair tennis calendar, the first of its kind ever to be played in South Africa and Africa. More than 95 of the world’s best wheelchair tennis players jetted into South Africa representing 22 countries to take part in the recent five-day event. In a further historic announcement at the tournament, the ITF decided to introduce the mixed event at Ellis Park as preparation for the 2016 Paralympic games to

be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where mixed doubles would be introduced for the first time to the Paralympics. The seeds announcement for the tournament included two world number one seeds in Shingo Kunieda of Japan and David Wagner of the USA. With the great showing of Lucas Sithole and Kgothatso Montjane who made it through to the finals, the television coverage the tournament enjoyed and

no entrance fee being charged for the spectators, ensuring more attendance from the public, the tournament went down as a great success and signaled to a great year ahead for wheelchair tennis!

SA Netball aims for the stars

SPAR and NSA sign the contract and shake hands to the growth of netball in South Africa. (l-r) SPAR Protea netball coach Elize Kotze, SPAR Director Alison Zweers, NSA president Mimi Mthethwa and Director General Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa Alec Moemi. Pictures by: Reg Caldecott “Not many people know that Netball is South Africa’s second most popular sport (after soccer) and certainly the most popular sport amongst woman, who are important role players in the new South Africa.” Zweers said the grocery giant was very excited by its sponsorship of netball. “Our increased sponsorship will include the Proteas, our country’s pride and joy, and a team we are so proud of,” she said. “We are also extending our sponsorship to the Under21 and Under19 squads, who are the future Proteas. It makes sense for us to take care of them as well, to ensure that netball continues to grow from strength to strength.” She said SPAR would continue to sponsor the annual national championships, which played a major role in the development of the sport and also gave the sponsor an opportunity to reach out to netball regions across the country. “Lastly, we have reached an agreement with NSA’s television partner Supersport as a broadcast sponsor of netball. This is important as we need to expose this beau-

tiful game and our sponsorship not only in South Africa, but throughout Africa and the world,” said Zweers. “We are delighted to renew our very strong relationship with SPAR,” said NSA President Mimi Mthethwa. “They have been with us through thick and thin, and have helped the Proteas to improve their world ranking. We

We are also extending our sponsorship to the Under21 and Under19 squads, who are the future Proteas.

The future of South African netball certainly looks bright with a promise of even greater things to come. While many corporate companies have reviewed and in some cases even scaled down their involvement in sport, Netball South Africa has received a shot in the arm with the renewal of the sponsorship by long-time partners SPAR in April. It was a massive boost for Netball South Africa (NSA), who aims to join the world’s top three netball nations, when SPAR announced they would renew and increasing its sponsorship for the next three years. “For the past 10 years, we have had a strong and close relationship with netball, which has become our flagship sponsorship,” said SPAR Director, Alison Zweers. “Sport provides an exciting platform on which to build our brand and women’s sport presents an excellent channel for this. A huge majority of our customers are women, and we believe we have a duty to support them in return. Netball provides us with a great opportunity to demonstrate our support for our customers.

Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa and SPAR Director Alison Zweers with Protea netball players Aneret Viljoen, Nontle Gwavu, Vanes-Mari du Toit and Kifiloe Tsotetsi (u21) during SPAR’s renewal of sponsorship with NSA at the Southern Sun, Hyde Park on April 17, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

are sixth in the world, and with their help we believe we can break into the top three. “It is really an honour for us to have such a big household name

supermarket involved with the most popular women’s sport in the country.” Mthethwa said NSA was particularly pleased that the sponsorship was being extended to include the Under21 and Under19 squads. “They are the stars of the future and the players that could take us right to the top,” she said. “SPAR’s support will be invaluable. For instance, the Under21s are currently preparing for the world junior championships in Glasgow in August, and the added sponsorship will mean we can organise proper training camps so that they can go to the world championships and do us proud.” The sponsorship, worth R20million in value, runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015. BROADCAST DEAL The renewal of the SPAR sponsorship came a few months after yet another positive development in the history of Netball SA - a broadcast partnership with SuperSport, which will begin in 2013. The initiative, which was driven by the Minister of Sport and Rec-

reation Fikile Mbalula, sees NSA partner with SuperSport in a bold move to give netball the prominence it deserves. SuperSport has secured rights to all netball played in South Africa in the next five years on all broadcast platforms in Africa and adjacent islands. The World of Champions, which covered eight matches during the recent international Diamond Challenge, will broadcast international and Premier League matches live. Focus of live coverage will be around the Spar Proteas and the Netball Premier League. SuperSport will also broadcast a magazine show that will feature all forms of netball from grassroots through to national events and teams. The broadcast rights include the national regional championships, club championships, Fast Net Series, Netball Mania festivals, national schools championship, university championship and national youth clinics. A key strategic focus will be coverage of netball across the African continent through SuperSport’s DStv mediums.


May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com By Zeena Isaacs WITH an adequate budget of more than R200m for social development this financial year alone and a team determined to create a “livable and healthy lifestyle” in the City of Tshwane, the MMC for sport Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke believes they are on the right track to setting the pace countywide. Such is the commitment by the City that is usually blanketed in purple when the jacarandas are in full bloom to social upliftment and boosting the participation in sports, arts and culture, they currently have several development projects on the go to provide the necessary facilities, particularly in previously disadvantaged communities. These projects include the completion of the Giant Stadium in Mabopane, the installation of an artificial turf at the Ga-Rankuwa West Grounds, Mamelodi Rethabile Sports Centre and Attridgeville Mbolekwa Sports Centre (as part of their Greening Project), as well as the construction of two state-of-the-art multipurpose sport facilities. In fact, the latter, the Olieven Multipurpose Centre and Cullinan Library Park, when completed, will be the first of their kind in the province, as they will use natural power sources, rather than electricity, over and above offering citizens access to facilities suitable to a range of sporting codes. Other medium-term projects in the City include the upgrading of the Saulsville Arena to a closed facility to enable it to be used in winter, and upgrades to the Caledonian Stadium which the MMC believes is an ideal venue for the province’s PSL teams to host matches. Caledonian used to be the venue where the likes of Plankie Naude, Spoedie Bronkhorst, George Matjila, the late Thomas

FEATURE

Tshwane leading the way in social upliftment

We are leading the way in a sense, especially if one looks back at the Minister of Sport’s comments during the Tshwane Open

Hlongwane, Dave Herholdt, Steve Wegerlee and even Noel Cousins used to rule the roost until 1979 when the then prejudiced City Council of the Nationalist government banned the stadium following a riot between Kaizer Chiefs and Arcadia Shepherds supporters. “We are leading the way in a sense, especially if one looks back at the Minister of Sport’s comments during the Tshwane Open

Page 21

that other provinces should follow in the footsteps of our City,” said the MMC. “What we are doing is visible, and we are pleased that we have been able to stay true to our promise of service delivery.” Kepi Madumo, who serves as the strategic executive director of Tshwane’s sports and recreational services department, was equally excited about the effect these projects would have on the City in future and said the Cullinan Library, in particular, summed up what they were trying to achieve. “This will promote a balance between education and sport and we hope it will encourage a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “We have a sufficient budget for the financial year and we are certain we will reap the benefits in the long-term because social infrastructure is important in the

development of a livable city with a healthy lifestyle. Without such amenities one cannot achieve this.” The current construction projects aside, the City of Tshwane has continued to make its presence felt this year as a top sports destination by hosting their first ever European co-sanctioned golf tournament, the Tshwane Open. This is one of only six events on the Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned by the European Tour. Those who attended the tournament would attest to the fact that it was an overwhelming success for the inaugural event, and since the tournament will be an annual event, it is expected to play an even bigger role in boosting golf in the province and as well as its economy. This adds to a series of suc-

cessful sports teams and individuals from the City, including the Blue Bulls, who are SA’s most successful Super Rugby team, Olympic gold medal swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and successful Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius. Given the immense sporting talent in the City, the MMC was confident that sport would continue to play a massive role in the City’s economy in future. “Sport is very important to us and it will be earmarked as one of the sectors that should continue to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the City and ultimately the country,” said the MMC. “It is for this reason that we as a City have resolved to strengthen our relationship with the three PSL teams – Pretoria TUKS, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United - and the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria, as we believe they can contribute immensely to this agenda. In addition to the three PSL teams, you also have Ga-Rankuwa-based United FC, a National First Division side coached by former Sundowns defender Daniel Masesela that has reached the semi finals of the Nedbank Cup to add to the success of the Tshwane teams. Adding to that, we will be looking to bid for the hosting of major sporting events which will increase the profile of the City and the number of tourists visiting.”

The Tshwane Open aside, the MMC noted several highlights from a sporting perspective in the City in the last few months and she had no doubt that Tshwane would continue to make its presence felt as “the City of champions”. “The public viewing areas we hosted in Hammanskraal and Zithobeni during Afcon was certainly one of our highlights in the last few months because this attracted over 60 000 people,” she said. “It allowed the City to feel part of the competition, and with 21000 people arriving in Hammanskraal to watch one of the Bafana Bafana matches, it almost felt as though we had hosted the match in the City. Other major highlights were the number of athletes from the City that were part of the Olympic and Paralympic teams late last year and the promotion of the University of Pretoria Football Club which increased our PSL teams to three. This is an impressive milestone and it adds impetus to the vision of creating a City of excellence and one that produces champions. We also hosted an international roller-skating competition in Hammanskraal earlier this month and we supported the local Community Games project.” Looking ahead the MMC and Madumo were excited about the future potential of the City and they were determined to build on this success moving forward.


Page 22

Briefs

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

This ability to the fore By Carol Tshabalala Disability sport South Africa (DISSA) which falls under the ministry of sport and recreation has been working hard to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy a great life and are given platforms to achieve greatness in their field of talent and expertise. Certain private institutions like Nedbank, a celebrated supporter of the Paralympic movement have joined them in their mission. One of the most revered annual events that have given birth to sport stars such as Hilton Langenhoven and Emily Gray are the Nedbank national championships for the physically disabled. Currently underway at the University of Pretoria, this marks the beginning of a new cycle on the road to the Rio Paralympic games in 2016. Nedbanks head of sponsorships- Andy Scott, believes that

this is the prefect platform to give athletes an opportunity to prepare for the global showpiece. As a proud partner of team south Africa, Nedbank has made a substantial investment in the growth and development of athletes with disabilities. The multisport championships have proven to be a feeder event for the national Paralympic team and other representative teams since their inception in 1992. This is the biggest multi disability and multi sporting event in the country and also includes athletes who are visually impaired and blind. With now murder charged Oscar Pistorius having been the poster boy of disability sport in South Africa and the world, the organizers believe that sport for the physically disabled will continue to grow and these championships will give rise to new stars. Scott, a former paralympian and official himself says it’s impor-

tant that sport for the physically disabled doesn’t revolve around an individual, he strongly believes that more athletes as good and even better than Pistorius will be unearthed in future. The Deputy minister of sport and recreation Gert Oosthuisen endorsed the championships as part of governments talent identification programme, inclusion and the celebration of disabled sports athletes as one of the country’s success stories. Throughout events such as this the words of celebrated world icon and former president of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela are followed: “I urge everyone to look at individuals with… disabilities in a different light. If given a chance, these individuals can make a mark in whatever discipline they are guided through. If guided well, they will excel in whatever they attempt to do.”

Coup for development at Epic By Carol Tshabalala Described as the tour de France of mountain biking and as the greatest race in the world, this years Absa Cape Epic maintained its credibility as the pride of South Africa. Celebrated athletes from different sporting codes tried their hand at the Epic but a lot of the focus was on an important element of the race, development. Here! Exxaro takes the lead, using the worlds greatest mountain bike tour race to give an opportunity to previously disadvantaged participants to experience it and even challenge for a top finish. The Exxaro MTB academy is very excited to have in its ranks a small group of female riders and this year they registered the first ever ladies development team in Rozalia Kubwana and Alisha Myers (Exxaro PWC Academy 2) With the spotlight on their progress through the different stages, at the finish, their mission was accomplished. The moment Kubwana got off her mountain bike at Lourensford, she made South African cycling history. She and Letshego Moshoeu were the first two black female mountain bikers who were able to finish the Absa Cape Epic. Moshoeu’s partner was the Absa Cape Epic veteran, Ernst Viljoen. “I am very proud that I was able to finish what I had started. To complete the Epic was definitely my greatest achievement so far.” When asked how tough she thought the Epic was, Kubwana uttered a loud ‘eish’ before she answered. “I will be quite honest. The Epic was hard and challenging. The first stage, in and around Citrusdal, was nerve wrecking. We made the cut off with only three minutes to spare. At another time I really thought that this was it. I simply

could not pedal any longer and might as well quit. “Justice Makhale, our team captain and mentor, rode up to me and asked: ‘Why are you doing the Epic?’ “When I answered: ‘To make history’, I realised that quitting was not an option.” Kubwana is proud that she and Myers did not crash once and that the only mechanical problem they had was a broken chain. She made it clear that, if it had not been for Makhale’s guidance throughout all the stages, they would not have been able to complete the challenging event. “Justice was amazing. He just knew how to keep us going. When we really suffered, he physically pushed us along.” Kubwana said that when she first told her friends that she was going to do the Epic, they all thought that she had lost the plot. “I was told that the Epic was something that boys should do and not girls. That motivated me. I wanted to prove that, as a black woman, I was able to do anything if I put my mind to it. “Watch this space, as they say. More black women will now take up mountain biking as a sport.” The 19-year-old Kubwane is already a veteran when it comes to mountain biking. She and William Makgope have

won the mixed category of the Sabie Experience twice and she has also received Gauteng colours in cross-country riding. According to Kubwane, mountain biking is quite a popular sport in her hometown, Diepsloot. “This is mainly because of the involvement of Absa and Exxaro. There are about 40 riders at the Absa Academy in Diepsloot and about ten of us are part of the Exxaro Academy. “There is a great need for young people to become involved in sports. Crime is a huge problem in our community and a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.” Kubwana plans to compete mostly in cross-country races during the rest of the season, but she says she is not finished with the Epic yet. “I would definitely love to do another Epic. As they say, pain is just for now, glory is forever.” Makhale, Exxaro team captain, is proud that Kubwana and Myers persevered, even at times when things were really tough for them. “I have to admit that I am tired, and not only in my legs. My arms and shoulders took a real hammering during this Epic, with all the pushing I had to do. But in the end it was all worth it. The performance of the Exxaro women’s team will be an inspiration to many youngsters.

Kingston aims to be king By Zeena Isaacs SOUTH Africa’s James Kingston (pictured above), who finished in 16th position on the Sunshine Tour order of merit at the conclusion of the summer swing, revealed this week that he planned to adopt a much more relaxed approach to his golf this year after a disappointing 2012 season. Despite being one of the top golfers on the Sunshine Tour for several years after turning professional in 1988, the golfer struggled to one of his worst seasons as a professional last year in which he missed a total of 14 cuts. This included a run of six back-to-back missed cuts on the European Tour between the Irish Open and the BMW Italian Open. With the golfer now on limited status on the European Tour, however, he hopes the extended time on the Sunshine Tour combined with the luxury of being home much more would allow him to bounce back strongly this season. And the signs are already looking good as Kingston has finished each of the events has participated in this year and already boasts five top-20 finishes in seven events. He finished in 22nd place in last week’s Investec Cup. “Last year was the worst in my career and what was particularly disappointing is that I didn’t feel much different mentally to the other years,” said Kingston. “But fortunately I have managed to card better scores this year, and with that one’s confidence grows, so it seems the hard work I have put in has helped. So far I have had five or six decent finishes, although I believe I could have finished with better scores in three or four of those tournaments, but bad putts cost me. Hopefully, however, I will start working my way into a position to contend for titles, but it certainly feels as though I am moving in that direction.” With the golfer coming off a

challenging spell which included the six European co-sanctioned events on the Sunshine Tour and well as other tournaments dating back to November last year, Kingston opted to take a well-deserved break this week in Singapore and Malaysia where he will attend his son’s under-16 tournament. But looking ahead at the season, he relished the chance to participate regularly on the Sunshine Tour after making a name for himself on the popular domestic tour. “I plan to play at home a lot more this season, although I will play a few tournaments in Europe and perhaps I could secure an invite into other events here and there,” he said. “After 16 years of traveling overseas, this is a good thing, but if I play well again perhaps I could reclaim my tour card. As things stand I don’t have full status on the European Tour, I only qualify for some tournaments. I am by no means playing down the quality of the golf on the Sunshine Tour, but I am looking forward to playing less pressured golf this year. This will be very different to the hard grind one usually experiences in Europe. Over there the golf is very tough but one also tends to place more pressure on yourself to do well.” Interestingly, Kingston’s relaxed approach also applied to his goals, as he has opted to take each week in his stride rather than placing extra pressure on himself to achieve specific goals. “I haven’t set out any specific goals for the year, but I plan to spend more time improving my game this year and doing other things I didn’t have time for in the past,” he said. “I am taking a more relaxed attitude to my golf and life. That said my putting has always let me down and as a result of that I have struggled to card good rounds, so I will work on my short game… in this sport two or three good rounds can change everything, so I am hanging in there and hopefully that happens.”


Highveld Lions left arm spin bowler Aaron Phangiso

CRICKET

BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS THANK THE FANS & SPONSORS The players and management of the bizhub Highveld Lions are still relishing the feeling after clinching the RAM SLAM T20 Trophy after beating the Nashua Titans at the Bidvest Wanderers in April. This capped off a memorable season for the team after reaching the finals of the Champions League T20, sharing the Momentum One Day Cup Trophy with the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and ending in a close second place in the Sunfoil Series. Albeit the satisfaction of executing skills well on the day and stepping up when needed, there is a clear awareness that the support from fans and sponsors alike contributed to the last push for the team to cross the finish line. For skipper Alviro Petersen, the fans are close to home. “Our support over the past season has been fantastic and we know that we have many fans who have stuck by us during the less than successful times. We would like to acknowledge that and want fans to know that they play an integral part in the team’s motivation and drive to deliver performances like we did. You are part of the Lions’ pride,” said Petersen. Geoffrey Toyana, Head Coach,

“Winning becomes a habit and the Lions’ hunger to secure more silverware and fill up the display case has not been satisfied.

has at times been astounded at the support that he has received in his inaugural season. “From the get go I was made aware of the amazing support that the team and staff were getting. A special word of thanks to our title sponsors, Konica Minolta and 94.7 Highveld Stereo, who have backed us to cross the finish line, silverware in hand, this season,” Toyana commented. “I would also like to extend a word of gratitude to Gunn & Moore (Kit Sponsor), Planet Fitness (Training Facility Sponsor), Rudy Project (Eyewear Sponsor), Mueller (Physiotherapy Supply Sponsor), Tempest Car Hire (Vehicle Sponsor), Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Course (Golf Membership Sponsor), New Balance (Footwear Sponsor) and Masuri (Helmet Sponsor). Each

CLT20 2013 TO BE PLAYED IN INDIA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IN THE GROUP STAGE The Champions League Twenty20 will return to India for the third time in five years in 2013 after the dates and format for this year’s tournament were confirmed by the CLT20 Governing Council. The world’s premier domestic T20 competition will be played from 17 September to 6 October. The tournament will follow a similar format to the two previous editions with a Group Stage preceded by a Qualifier. A total of 29 matches will be played in the tournament by the best domestic T20 teams from around the world. As well as finalising the timing and format, the CLT20 Governing Council has also confirmed the teams that will compete for a total prize money of US$6million. Trinidad & Tobago, who were the runners-up in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009, have earned direct entry into the Group Stage this year after playing in the Qualifier in

2011 and 2012. With some of the world’s best T20 players, they are a deserving entrant in the main draw after winning the Caribbean T20 championship for a third straight time earlier this year. The CLT20 Governing Council has been advised by the England and Wales Cricket Board that its teams are not available to participate in this year’s tournament. “The CLT20 will return to India this year. It will be the third time India will host the tournament in five years, after 2009 and 2011. The competition, which will again feature leading cricketers from across the world and some of the established legends of world cricket, will be watched and followed by equally passionate fans,” N. Srinivasan, Chairman, CLT20 Governing Council, said. The Qualifier will feature four teams - the fourth-ranked team from the Pepsi IPL 2013, Otago Volts (New Zealand’s HRV Cup

Page 23

May Edition – 2013 l www.insidesportafrica.com

and every one of these partners play a massive role in providing an efficient and productive team environment,” said Toyana. He was quick to add that this taste of success cannot be where it ends. “Winning becomes a habit and the Lions’ hunger to secure more silverware and fill up the display case has not been satisfied. We are taking a short break but then the hard work will start again.” Cassim Docrat, Chief Executive Officer, noted that a team effort has been vital to reach this milestone. “Without the flexible and good-natured working relationship between all the various role players, this would not have been possible. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the backroom staff and the contribution that they had to the team’s success,” Docrat said.

Group Stage

Group A IPL1 (India) Highveld Lions (South Africa) Perth Scorchers (Australia) IPL 3 (India) Q1 (Qualifier) Group B IPL2 (India) Titans (South Africa) Brisbane Heat (Australia) Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies) Q2 (Qualifier)

Champions League Twenty20 2012 Winners, Sydney Sixers. champions), and the winners of the Sri Lanka and Pakistan domestic T20 competitions. The teams will play each other once, with the top two advancing to the Group Stage. The Group Stage will feature 10 teams. Group A will comprise the winner and third-ranked team in the Pepsi IPL 2013, Highveld Lions (winner of South Africa’s RAM SLAM T20 Challenge), Perth Scorchers (KFC T20 Big Bash League runnerup), and the top team from the CLT20 2013 Qualifier. Group B will comprise Brisbane Heat (KFC T20 Big Bash

League champion), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies T20 champion), the runner-up in the Pepsi IPL 2013, Titans (RAM SLAM T20 Challenge runner-up), and the second-ranked team from the CLT20 2013 Qualifier. The top team from Group A will play the second-ranked team from Group B, and vice versa, in the semi-finals. The winners of the semis will play in the CLT20 2013 Final on 6 October. The venues of the CLT20 2013 will be decided at the end of the Pepsi IPL 2013, once the top three teams in that tournament are known.

Qualifier IPL4 (India) Otago Volts (New Zealand) SLC1 (Sri Lanka) PCB1 (Pakistan)

About Champions League Twenty20

CLT20 is a sub-committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The tournament is broadcast around the world by ESPN Star Sports, who are also the commercial rights holders for the event.

Previous Champions

2009 - NSW Blues (Australia) 2010 - Chennai Super Kings (India) 2011 - Mumbai Indians (India) 2012 - Sydney Sixers (Australia)


Page 24

CRICKET

www.insidesportafrica.com l May Edition – 2013

Tshwane leading the way in social upliftment

Page 21

The Bad Boy of SA Cricket’s Encore By Lizette Khan

ally happened I couldn’t tell the dolphins the duration that I was going to be out of action for so that put a spanner in the works.”

It’s been 17 years since Herschelle Gibbs first picked up his bat to represent South Africa. The talented batsman and phenomenal fielder has been the cause of a rollercoaster of emotions for many a South African cricket fan in that time and thus still remains a firm crowd favourite whenever he makes his way to the middle right around the world. After a 13 month absence from the South African cricket scene Gibbs made his return in the Ram Slam T20 semi final game between the Nashua Titans and Chevrolet Warriors. It was a less than auspicious return for Gibbs as he was dismissed for a duck after having faced just three balls. The final against the Bizhub Highveld Lions saw the former South African top score for the Pretoria side as he put together an innings of 22 off 32 balls. Yet it was not meant to be a match winning performance however, as the Lions walked away with their first piece of silverware in five seasons. InsideSportAfrica caught up with SA’s bad boy of cricket to find out his views on playing in South Africa again, his plans for the future and the Protea’s trophy woes. InsideSportAfrica: it’s been over a year since you last played in South Africa, how does it feel? Herschelle Gibbs: “It’s a little different, a lighter colour of blue that I am accustomed to playing in in South Africa. Unfortunately the coach of the Cobra’s said that the team was quite settled and he didn’t really want to tamper with it, which left me out to dry so to speak, so when Matthew Maynard got hold of me to play maybe two games for the Titans I gladly accepted cause I’ve recovered perfectly well from my hamstring injury that I picked up in Australia and now I’m ready to fire again.” ISA: Would you like to play more cricket on home soil? HG: “For sure I would like to play more games in SA. I would have actually played for the Dolphins had I not got injured in Australia, but the injury that I picked up in Australia was quite severe and when it actu-

ISA: How would you rate your fitness, as you haven’t played competitively since early January? HG: “I’m generally fit, I do enjoy my fitness so I don’t really fall behind when it comes to that but you obviously need some match practise but my body is accustomed to that even at the age that I am, so I’m good to go, I had a good training session with the guys and I’m still as sharp as ever, its just a case of going out and implanting it.” ISA: What is the plan for Herschelle Gibbs after playing cricket competitively? HG: “If I go the distance, and I still wanna play for another three years, I would have built up a serious amount of experience over the last twenty odd years. There is a lot of T20 that is played and with all these competitions around the world; I think that there is a lot that I can offer quite a lot of teams anywhere around the world. T20 games is where the pulling power is these days with regards to coaching teams and the new sort of breed of cricketer, so I could fall back on that, but at this stage I just wanna make the most of my days as far as being a cricketer is concerned and try and win trophies for the various teams that I play for around the world.”

Herschelle Gibbs wants to go the full distant.

ISA: South Africa is competing in the Champions Trophy later this year, what are your views of the team’s chances to gain some silverware? HG: “With the ODI team I think there is definitely some space for a new face up the order and then I think that the rest of the team sort of selects itself. It’s a big question that I think everyone would like to see the ODI squad answer, whenwill they make a final at least, if there ever was a time for them to put everybody’s mind at ease and just repay the faith that everybody has showed in them season after season and hopefully they can get over that last hurdle that I also always wanted to achieve. So it would be nice to see them win a piece of silverware as far as the ODI’s are concerned.”

Full May Edition | ISA  

Over the past 20 years, sport for the physically disabled in South Africa has become synonymous with one institution - Nedbank. The organisa...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you